Heterogeneous versus homogeneous copper(II) catalysis in enantioselective conjugate-addition reactions of boron in water.Chem Asian J. 2014 Jan; 9(1):179-88.CA
We have developed Cu(II)-catalyzed enantioselective conjugate-addition reactions of boron to α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds and α,β,γ,δ-unsaturated carbonyl compounds in water. In contrast to the previously reported Cu(I) catalysis that required organic solvents, chiral Cu(II) catalysis was found to proceed efficiently in water. Three catalyst systems have been exploited: cat. 1: Cu(OH)2 with chiral ligand L1; cat. 2: Cu(OH)2 and acetic acid with ligand L1; and cat. 3: Cu(OAc)2 with ligand L1. Whereas cat. 1 is a heterogeneous system, cat. 2 and cat. 3 are homogeneous systems. We tested 27 α,β-unsaturated carbonyl compounds and an α,β-unsaturated nitrile compound, including acyclic and cyclic α,β-unsaturated ketones, acyclic and cyclic β,β-disubstituted enones, acyclic and cyclic α,β-unsaturated esters (including their β,β-disubstituted forms), and acyclic α,β-unsaturated amides (including their β,β-disubstituted forms). We found that cat. 2 and cat. 3 showed high yields and enantioselectivities for almost all substrates. Notably, no catalysts that can tolerate all of these substrates with high yields and high enantioselectivities have been reported for the conjugate addition of boron. Heterogeneous cat. 1 also gave high yields and enantioselectivities with some substrates and also gave the highest TOF (43,200 h(-1)) for an asymmetric conjugate-addition reaction of boron. In addition, the catalyst systems were also applicable to the conjugate addition of boron to α,β,γ,δ-unsaturated carbonyl compounds, although such reactions have previously been very limited in the literature, even in organic solvents. 1,4-Addition products were obtained in high yields and enantioselectivities in the reactions of acyclic α,β,γ,δ-unsaturated carbonyl compounds with diboron 2 by using cat. 1, cat. 2, or cat. 3. On the other hand, in the reactions of cyclic α,β,γ,δ-unsaturated carbonyl compounds with compound 2, whereas 1,4-addition products were exclusively obtained by using cat. 2 or cat. 3, 1,6-addition products were exclusively produced by using cat. 1. Similar unique reactivities and selectivities were also shown in the reactions of cyclic trienones. Finally, the reaction mechanisms of these unique conjugate-addition reactions in water were investigated and we propose stereochemical models that are supported by X-ray crystallography and MS (ESI) analysis. Although the role of water has not been completely revealed, water is expected to be effective in the activation of a borylcopper(II) intermediate and a protonation event subsequent to the nucleophilic addition step, thereby leading to overwhelmingly high catalytic turnover.