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Org Biomol Chem. 2005 Dec 21;3(24):4299-306. Epub 2005 Oct 20.

Recognition and activation by ureas and thioureas: stereoselective reactions using ureas and thioureas as hydrogen-bonding donors.

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  • 1Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Hydrogen-bonding interaction plays a crucial role in the molecular recognition and activation processes of various biologically important reactions that are mediated by enzymes and antibodies in living organisms. Recently, it has been shown that a hydrogen-bonding donor can be used as a general acid catalyst for various types of reactions in organic chemistry. In this article, we describe enantioselective reactions catalyzed by urea and thiourea derivatives as general acid catalysts as well as diastereoselective reactions. This perspective provides an overview of this rapidly growing field.

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