Lewis Acid Catalyzed Reactions of Chiral Imidazolidinones and Oxazolidinones: Insights on the Role of the Catalyst

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The mechanism proposed by Evans to justify the selectivity obtained in Lewis acid catalyzed Diels-Alder reactions of cyclopentadiene with acyloxazolidinones has been generalized and used in the rationalization of selectivities obtained in many other systems. However, we recently proposed an alternative mechanism, on the basis of open-chain mono- and bicomplexes, that avoids the need for chelates and explains the selectivity obtained by Evans. In this manuscript we apply our proposal to the catalyzed conjugated addition of amines to acylimidazolidinones, reported by Cardillo, and we clearly show that aluminum chelates are not involved in the reaction, as they induce no selectivity, while Cardillo observed high experimental selectivities. Our data equally show that bicomplexes with carbonyl parallel orientation, proposed by Cardillo to justify the experimental selectivity with nonchelating Lewis acids, indeed induce the opposite selectivity and have also to be dismissed. On the other hand, our mechanistic proposal allows for the full rationalization of the data obtained by Cardillo with aluminum, boron, or zinc Lewis acids and supports our previous proposal on DA cycloadditions of dienes to Evans chiral auxiliary derivatives.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)6997-7004
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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