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Alternative Synthesis of the Colorado Potato Beetle Pheromone

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journal contribution
posted on 18.02.2016, 14:50 by Juan A. Faraldos, Robert M. Coates, José-Luis Giner
A concise preparation of the pheromone secreted by the male Colorado potato beetle [viz. (3S)-1,3-dihydroxy-3,7-dimethyl-6-octen-2-one] was accomplished in four steps starting from 2-fluoronerol or 2-fluorogeraniol. The key step in the synthesis involves a 6-endo epoxide ring-opening with ester participation that simultaneously inverts the 3R-configuration of the (3R)-2,3-epoxy-2-fluoroprenyl acetate intermediate and installs the ketone functionality of the semiochemical. Extensive NMR studies validate the proposed 6-endo mechanism of the featured rearrangement, which under anhydrous conditions resulted in the formation of two bicyclic 1,3-dioxan-5-ones via an unprecedented intramolecular Prins cyclization.