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Dynamic Thermodynamic and Dynamic Kinetic Resolution of 2-Lithiopyrrolidines

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journal contribution
posted on 23.08.2006, 00:00 by Iain Coldham, Samuel Dufour, Thomas F. N. Haxell, Jignesh J. Patel, Graciela Sanchez-Jimenez
Dynamic resolution has been studied as a method for the asymmetric synthesis of 2-substituted pyrrolidines. Highly enantioselective electrophilic substitutions of racemic 2-lithiopyrrolidines in the presence of a chiral ligand have been achieved. The organolithium compounds were prepared by tin−lithium exchange from the corresponding tributylstannanes and n-butyllithium or by deprotonation of N-(tert-butyloxycarbonyl)pyrrolidine with sec-butyllithium. A range of N-substituents and chiral ligands were investigated for the dynamic resolution. Electrophilic quench of the resolved diastereomeric 2-lithiopyrrolidine−chiral ligand complexes provided the enantiomerically enriched 2-substituted pyrrolidines. With N-alkyl derivatives, the resolution occurs conveniently at (or just below) room temperature and either enantiomer of the product can be formed by appropriate choice of the chiral ligand. The asymmetric induction occurs as a result of a thermodynamic preference for one of the diastereomeric complexes. The minor complex was found to have a faster rate of reaction with the electrophile. The use of N-allylic derivatives provides a means to prepare the N-unsubstituted pyrrolidine products. Best results were obtained with the N-2,3-dimethylbut-2-enyl derivative, and this N-substituent could be cleaved using 1-chloroethyl chloroformate. With N-Boc-2-lithiopyrrolidine, the enantioselectivity arises by a kinetic resolution and high levels of asymmetric induction in the presence of excess n-butyllithium can be obtained. Dynamic kinetic resolution of the N-Boc derivative is limited in the scope of electrophile that can be used.