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Science. 2010 Jun 11;328(5984):1376-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1188217.

Quaternary ammonium (hypo)iodite catalysis for enantioselective oxidative cycloetherification.

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  • 1Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa, Nagoya, 464-8603, Japan.


It is desirable to minimize the use of rare or toxic metals for oxidative reactions in the synthesis of pharmaceutical products. Hypervalent iodine compounds are environmentally benign alternatives, but their catalytic use, particularly for asymmetric transformations, has been quite limited. We report here an enantioselective oxidative cycloetherification of ketophenols to 2-acyl-2,3-dihydrobenzofuran derivatives, catalyzed by in situ-generated chiral quaternary ammonium (hypo)iodite salts, with hydrogen peroxide as an environmentally benign oxidant. The optically active 2-acyl 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran skeleton is a key structure in several biologically active compounds.

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