American Chemical Society
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Pseudoephedrine as a Practical Chiral Auxiliary for the Synthesis of Highly Enantiomerically Enriched Carboxylic Acids, Alcohols, Aldehydes, and Ketones

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journal contribution
posted on 1997-07-16, 00:00 authored by Andrew G. Myers, Bryant H. Yang, Hou Chen, Lydia McKinstry, David J. Kopecky, James L. Gleason
The use of pseudoephedrine as a practical chiral auxiliary for asymmetric synthesis is described in full. Both enantiomers of pseudoephedrine are inexpensive commodity chemicals and can be N-acylated in high yields to form tertiary amides. In the presence of lithium chloride, the enolates of the corresponding pseudoephedrine amides undergo highly diastereoselective alkylations with a wide range of alkyl halides to afford α-substituted products in high yields. These products can then be transformed in a single operation into highly enantiomerically enriched carboxylic acids, alcohols, aldehydes, and ketones.