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Discovery of a Phosphine-Mediated Cycloisomerization of Alkynyl Hemiketals: Access to Spiroketals and Dihydropyrazoles via Tandem Reactions

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journal contribution
posted on 20.04.2012, 00:00 by Jaideep Saha, Chris Lorenc, Bikash Surana, Mark W. Peczuh
Reported here are details on the discovery of a phosphine-catalyzed isomerization of hemiketals and subsequent reactions of the cyclic keto enol ether products. The new cycloisomerization complements a previously reported amine-catalyzed process that gave oxepinones from the same hemiketal starting materials. In the absence of functionality (R2) on the cyclic keto enol ether, a rapid and facile dimerization occurs, giving spiroketal products. When the enone is substituted (i.e., R2 = Ph), the cyclic keto enol ether is sufficiently stable so that it can be isolated; it can then be further reacted in the same pot to provide the corresponding dihydropyrazoles. Both the spiroketal and dihydropyrazole products arise by a tandem reaction that begins with the novel cycloisomerization. The method allows for the rapid introduction of complexity in the products from relatively simple starting materials. It should find application in the synthesis of natural product-like molecules.