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Org Lett. 2016 Dec 2;18(23):6086-6089. Epub 2016 Nov 22.

Enantioselective Synthesis of α-Mercapto-β-amino Esters via Rh(II)/Chiral Phosphoric Acid-Cocatalyzed Three-Component Reaction of Diazo Compounds, Thiols, and Imines.

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Shanghai Engineering Research Center of Molecular Therapeutics and New Drug Development, School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, East China Normal University , 3663 North Zhongshan Road, Shanghai 200062, China.


An enantioselective method for the synthesis of α-mercapto-β-amino esters has been developed via a rhodium(II)/chiral phosphoric acid-cocatalyzed three-component reaction of diazo compounds, thiols, and imines. This transformation is proposed to proceed through enantioselective trapping of the sulfonium ylide intermediate generated in situ from the diazo compound and thiol by the phosphoric acid-activated imine. With this method, a series of α-mercapto-β-amino esters were obtained in good yields with moderate to good stereoselectivities.

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