Direct access to spirocycles by Pd/WingPhos-catalyzed enantioselective cycloaddition of 1,3-enynes

Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 27;12(1):5667. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25981-x.


Spirocycles play an important role in drug discovery and development. The direct, catalytic, and enantioselective synthesis of spirocycles from readily available starting materials and in an atom economic manner remains a highly sought-after task in organic synthesis. Herein, an enantioselective Pd-hydride-catalyzed cycloaddition method for the synthesis of spirocyclic compounds directly from two classes of commonly available starting materials, 1,3-enynes and cyclic carbon-hydrogen (C-H) bonds, is reported. The reactions employ a chiral Pd/WingPhos catalyst to both suppress the formation of bis-allenyl by-products and control the stereoselectivity. 1,3-Enynes are used as dielectrophilic four-carbon units in the cycloaddition reactions, which also enables an enyne substrate-directed enantioselectivity switch with good levels of stereocontrol. The present spirocycle synthesis tolerates a broad range of functional groups of 1,3-enyne substrates, including alcohols, esters, nitriles, halides, and olefins. A variety of diverse cyclic nucleophiles, including pharmaceutically important heterocycles and carbocycles, can be flexibly incorporated with spiro scaffolds.

PMID:34580311 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-021-25981-x


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