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Catalytic enantioselective Minisci-type addition to heteroarenes

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Science  05 Apr 2018:
eaar6376
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar6376

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Abstract

Basic heteroarenes are a ubiquitous feature of pharmaceuticals and bioactive molecules, and Minisci-type additions of radical nucleophiles are a leading method for their elaboration. Despite many Minisci-type protocols that result in the formation of stereocenters, exerting control over the absolute stereochemistry at these centers remains an unmet challenge. We report a process for addition of prochiral radicals, generated from amino acid derivatives, to pyridines and quinolines with excellent control of both enantioselectivity and regioselectivity. An enantiopure chiral Brønsted acid catalyst serves both to activate the substrate and induce asymmetry, while an iridium photocatalyst mediates the required electron transfer processes. We anticipate that this method will expedite access to enantioenriched small-molecule building blocks bearing versatile basic heterocycles.

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