August 2, 2002

Oxidative Cyclization Based on Reversing the Polarity of Enol Ethers and Ketene Dithioacetals. Construction of a Tetrahydrofuran Ring and Application to the Synthesis of (+)-Nemorensic Acid

Bin Liu, Shengquan Duan, Angela C. Sutterer, and Kevin D. Moeller
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2002, 124 (34), pp 10101–10111

The utility of oxidative cyclization reactions for the construction of tetrahydrofuran rings has been examined. In these experiments, alcohol nucleophiles were found to be effective traps for radical cation intermediates generated from both enol ether and ketene dithioacetal groups. The reactivity of the alcohol trapping group appeared to lie between that of an enol ether and an allylsilane trapping group. The stereochemical outcome of cyclization reactions originating from the oxidation of an enol ether was found to be controlled by stereoelectronic factors. The utility of these cyclization reactions was illustrated with the synthesis of a key tetrahydrofuran building block for the synthesis of linalool oxide and rotundisine. Cyclization reactions triggered by the oxidation of a ketene dithioacetal led to far greater levels of stereoselectivity. The stereochemical outcome of these reactions was shown to arise from steric factors involving the larger ketene acetal group. The synthetic utility of cyclizations utilizing ketene dithioacetal derived radical cations was demonstrated by completing an asymmetric synthesis of (+)-nemorensic acid. Finally, the reactions were shown to be compatible with the use of an amide nucleophile and the direct formation of a lactone product.