Aluminum-catalyzed asymmetric alkylations of pyridyl-substituted alkynyl ketones with dialkylzinc reagents.J Am Chem Soc. 2008 Jul 30; 130(30):9942-51.JA
Alkylations of pyridyl-substituted ynones with Et2Zn and Me2Zn, promoted by amino acid-based chiral ligands in the presence of Al-based alkoxides, afford tertiary propargyl alcohols efficiently in 57% to >98% ee. Two easily accessible chiral ligands are identified as optimal for reactions of the two dialkylzinc reagents. Catalytic alkylations with Et2Zn require a chiral ligand carrying two amino acid moieties (valine and phenylalanine) along with a p-trifluoromethylphenylamide C-terminus. In contrast, reactions with Me2Zn are most effectively promoted in the presence of a chiral ligand containing a single amino acid (benzyl cysteine), capped by an n-butylamide. Enantiomerically enriched tertiary alcohols bearing a pyridyl and an alkyne substituent can be functionalized in a variety of manners to furnish a wide range of difficult-to-access acyclic and heterocyclic structures; two noteworthy examples are Cu-catalyzed protocols for conversion of tertiary propargyl alcohols to enantiomerically enriched tetrasubstituted allenes and bicyclic amides that bear an N-substituted quaternary carbon stereogenic center. Mechanistic models that account for the trends and enantioselectivity levels are provided.