Enantioselective synthesis of α-aryl-β2-amino-esters by cooperative isothiourea and Brønsted acid catalysis

Feng Zhao, Chang Shu, Claire M. Young, Cameron Carpenter-Warren, Alexandra M. Z. Slawin, Andrew David Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The synthesis of α‐aryl‐β2 ‐amino esters through enantioselective aminomethylation of an arylacetic acid ester in high yields and enantioselectivity via cooperative isothiourea and Brønsted acid catalysis is demonstrated. The scope and limitations of this process are explored (25 examples, up to 94% yield and 96:4 er), with applications to the synthesis of (S)‐Venlafaxine·HCl and (S)‐Nakinadine B. Mechanistic studies are consistent with a C(1)‐ammonium enolate pathway being followed rather than an alternative dynamic kinetic resolution process. Control studies indicate that (i) a linear effect between catalyst and product er is observed; (ii) an acyl ammonium ion can be used as a precatalyst; (iii) reversible isothiourea addition to an in situ generated iminium ion leads to an off‐cycle intermediate that can be used as a productive precatalyst.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11892-11900
Number of pages10
JournalAngewandte Chemie International Edition
Volume60
Issue number21
Early online date4 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2021

Keywords

  • Isothiourea
  • Cooperative catalysis
  • Mechanistic study
  • Enantioselective aminomethylation
  • b2-amino acid

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