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Stereospecific Rhodium-Catalyzed Allylic Substitution with Alkenyl Cyanohydrin Pronucleophiles: Construction of Acyclic Quaternary Substituted α,β-Unsaturated Ketones

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journal contribution
posted on 16.12.2015, 00:00 by Ben W. H. Turnbull, Samuel Oliver, P. Andrew Evans
A highly regio- and stereospecific rhodium-catalyzed allylic alkylation of tertiary allylic carbonates with alkenyl cyanohydrin pronucleophiles is described. This protocol offers a fundamentally novel approach toward the synthesis of acyclic quaternary-substituted α,β-unsaturated ketones and thereby provides a new cross-coupling strategy for target directed synthesis. A particularly attractive feature with this process is the ability to directly couple di-, tri- and tetrasubstituted alkenyl cyanohydrin pronucleophiles to prepare the corresponding α,β-unsaturated ketone derivatives in a highly selective manner. Additionally, the chemoselective 1,4-reduction of the enone products provides rapid access to acyclic enantiomerically enriched α,α′-dialkyl-substituted ketones, which are challenging motifs to prepare using conventional enolate alkylation.