Chiral Thioureas Promote Enantioselective Pictet–Spengler Cyclization by Stabilizing Every Intermediate and Transition State in the Carboxylic Acid-Catalyzed Reaction
Kennedy, C. Rose
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CitationKlausen, Rebekka S., C. Rose Kennedy, Alan M. Hyde, and Eric N. Jacobsen. 2017. Chiral Thioureas Promote Enantioselective Pictet-Spengler Cyclization by Stabilizing Every Intermediate and Transition State in the Carboxylic Acid-Catalyzed Reaction. Journal of the American Chemical Society 139, no. 35: 12299-2309.
AbstractAn investigation of the mechanism of benzoic acid/thiourea co-catalysis in the asymmetric Pictet-Spengler reaction is reported. Kinetic, computational, and structure-activity relationship studies provide evidence that rearomatization via deprotonation of the pentahydro-β-carbolinium ion intermediate by a chiral thiourea·carboxylate complex is both rate- and enantioselectivity-determining. The thiourea catalyst induces rate acceleration over the background reaction mediated by benzoic acid alone by stabilizing every intermediate and transition state leading up to and including the final selectivity-determining step. Distortion-interaction analyses of the transition structures for deprotonation predicted using density functional theory indicate that differential π-π and C-H···π interactions within a scaffold organized by multiple hydrogen bonds dictate stereoselectivity. The principles underlying rate acceleration and enantiocontrol described herein are expected to have general implications for the design of selective transformations involving deprotonation of high-energy intermediates.
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