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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 Apr 14;132(14):5002-3. doi: 10.1021/ja101292a.

Nucleophilic acyl substitution via aromatic cation activation of carboxylic acids: rapid generation of acid chlorides under mild conditions.

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Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


The first example of aromatic cation-activated nucleophilic acyl substitution has been achieved. The conversion of carboxylic acids to their corresponding acid chlorides occurs rapidly in the presence of 3,3-dichlorocyclopropenes via the intermediacy of cyclopropenium carboxylate complexes. The effect of cyclopropene substituents on the rate of conversion is examined. The addition of tertiary amine base is found to dramatically accelerate reaction, and conditions were developed for the preparation of acid sensitive acid chlorides. Preparative scale peptide couplings of two N-Boc amino acids were achieved with this method.

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