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Non-Innocent Behavior of Substrate Backbone Esters in Metal-Catalyzed Carbocyclizations and Friedel–Crafts Reactions of Enynes and Arenynes

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journal contribution
posted on 06.11.2015, 00:00 by Bastien Michelet, Guillaume Thiery, Christophe Bour, Vincent Gandon
On the basis of DFT computations and experimental results, we show that the presence of the ester group in the backbone of organic substrates can influence the mechanism of metal-catalyzed carbocyclization reactions. The non-innocent role of the ester functionality in lowering the activation barrier of the key step of the gallium- and indium-catalyzed cycloisomerization of 1,6-enynes is revealed. In the case of the gallium-catalyzed hydroarylation of arenynes, the esters in the tether can deprotonate the Wheland intermediate, thus avoiding more energetically demanding [1,3]- or [1,2]/[1,2]-H shifts. As for the gallium-catalyzed Friedel–Crafts alkylation, an unusual concerted SEAr mechanism involving the esters has been calculated. Lastly, computations evidence that the ester group of methyl propiolates enables a divergent mechanism in the platinum-catalyzed intramolecular hydroarylation.