Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin

Development of chiral thiourea catalysts and its application to asymmetric catalytic reactions.

PMID 20460782


We have developed several multifunctional thiourea catalysts bearing a tertiary amine or an 1,2-amino alcohol in expectation of their synchronous activation of a nucleophile and an electrophile through both acid-base and hydrogen-bonding interactions. From these studies, it was revealed that the weak acidity of thioureas compared with metallic Lewis acids could be overcome by this modification. The bifunctional aminothiourea could be used efficiently for a wide range of diastereoselective and enantioselective nucleophilic reactions such as Michael addition of 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds to nitroolefines, aza-Henry reaction of nitroalkanes to N-Boc imines, and hydrazination of cyclic beta-keto esters. We also discovered that multifunctional thiourea catalyst, bearing an 1,2-amino alcohol moiety, significantly accelerated the Petasis-type reaction of alkenylboronic acids to N-phenoxycarbonyl quinolinium salts, prepared from quinolines and phenyl chloroformate, to afford 1,2-addition products with high enantioselectivity (up to 97% ee). Furthermore, to expand the synthetic applicability of the thiourea-catalyzed asymmetric reactions, tandem organocatalyzed reactions were explored to establish the concise one-pot synthesis of chiral densely functionalized three-, five-, and six-membered compounds.