The direct organocatalytic desymmetrization of cyclic meso-anhydrides was achieved by alcoholysis with nitroallylic alcohols. The reaction between primary nitroallylic alcohols and cyclic meso-anhydrides catalyzed by cinchonidine derived thiourea organocatalyst II (10 mol %) proceeded smoothly. The corresponding hemiesters were obtained in high chemical yields with high to excellent levels of stereoselectivity (up to 90% yield and 99% ee). On the other hand, the reversal of enantioselectivity was observed when an amino cinchonidine derivative (III) was used as the organocatalyst under the similar reaction conditions. This demonstrated an example of activation of the nucelophilic component in the desymmetrization of cyclic meso-anhydrides.
ASJC Scopus subject areas