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J Am Chem Soc. 2006 Oct 4;128(39):12662-3.

Organocatalytic transfer hydrogenation of cyclic enones.

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  • 1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


The first enantioselective organocatalytic transfer hydrogenation of cyclic enones has been accomplished. The use of iminium catalysis has provided a new organocatalytic strategy for the enantioselective reduction of beta,beta-substituted alpha,beta-unsaturated cycloalkenones, to generate beta-stereogenic cyclic ketones. The use of imidazolidinone 4 as the asymmetric catalyst has been found to mediate the hydrogenation of a large class of enone substrates with tert-butyl Hantzsch ester serving as an inexpensive source of hydrogen. The capacity of catalyst 4 to enable enantioselective transfer hydrogenation of cycloalkenones has been extended to five-, six-, and seven-membered ring systems. The sense of asymmetric induction is in complete accord with the stereochemical model first reported in conjunction with the use of catalyst 4 for enantioselective ketone Diels-Alder reactions.

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