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J Org Chem. 2008 Dec 5;73(23):9379-87. doi: 10.1021/jo802165k.

Concise stereocontrolled formal synthesis of (+/-)-quinine and total synthesis of (+/-)-7- hydroxyquinine via merged Morita-Baylis-Hillman-Tsuji-Trost cyclization.

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  • 1University of Texas at Austin Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


Concise stereoselective syntheses of (+/-)-quinine and (+/-)-7-hydroxyquinine are achieved using a catalytic enone cycloallylation that combines the nucleophilic features of the Morita-Baylis-Hillman reaction and the electrophilic features of the Tsuji-Trost reaction. Cyclization of enone-allyl carbonate 11 delivers the product of cycloallylation 13 in 68% yield. Diastereoselective conjugate reduction of the enone 13 (>20:1 dr) followed by exchange of the N-protecting group provides the saturated N-Boc-protected methyl ketone 19, which upon aldol dehydration provides quinoline containing enone 15, possessing all carbon atoms of quinine. Exposure of ketone 15 to L-selectride enables diastereoselective carbonyl reduction (>20:1 dr) to furnish the allylic alcohol 16. Stereoselective hydroxyl-directed epoxidation using an oxovanadium catalyst modified by N-hydroxy-N-Me-pivalamide delivers epoxide 17 (17:1 dr). Cyclization of the resulting amine-epoxide 17 provides (+/-)-7-hydroxyquinine in 13 steps and 11% overall yield from aminoacetaldehyde diethyl acetal. Notably, highly stereoselective formation of five contiguous stereocenters is achieved through a series of 1,2-asymmetric induction events. Deoxygenation of the N-Cbz-protected allylic acetate 22 provides olefin 23, which previously has been converted to quinine. Thus, (+/-)-quinine is accessible in 16 steps and 4% overall yield from commercial aminoacetaldehyde diethyl acetal.

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