The β-nitrostyrenes 1 or 2 react with Grignard or organolithium reagents in ether or THF solution to generate by 1,4-addition the intermediate nitronates A. When A is treated with dilute hydrochloric acid, high yields of the nitroalkanes 3 (and oximes 4) or 5 are obtained Hydroximoyl halides 6, 8 or nitrile oxides 7 can be isolated when the intermediate A is slowly added to the ice cold concentrated hydrohalic acid. The same products 6 and/or 7 are observed if the nitronates, generated from the substrate 1a, are added to 85% aqueous H2SO4 but only the hydrolyzed carboxylic acids 9 are generated when the β-nitrostyrenes 2 are reacted with Grignard reagents and worked up under the same condition. The nitrile oxides 7 can undergo 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition with alkenes or alkynes to generate 2-isoxazolines or isoxazoles. A one-pot synthesis of the [n,3,0] bicyclic (n = 3 or 4) compounds 23-27 by intramolecular nitrile oxide-olefin cycloadditions is reported.
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