Direct enantioselective Michael addition of aldehydes to vinyl ketones catalyzed by chiral amines.J Org Chem. 2003 May 30; 68(11):4151-7.JO
Chiral amines such as (S)-2-[bis(3,5-dimethylphenyl)methyl]pyrrolidine and the C(2)-symmetric (2S,5S)-2,5-diphenylpyrrolidine can catalyze the direct enantioselective Michael addition of simple aldehydes to vinyl ketones. The conditions for this organocatalytic reaction have been optimized and it has been found that the chiral amines catalyze the formation of optically active substituted 5-keto aldehydes in good yields and enantioselectivities, using aldehydes and, e.g., methyl vinyl ketone as starting compounds. Taking into account that the chiral amine can activate the aldehyde and/or the enone, the mechanism for the reaction has been investigated. On the basis of intermediate synthesis, nonlinear effect, and theoretical investigations, the mechanism for the catalytic direct enantioselective Michael addition of aldehydes to vinyl ketones is discussed.