We disclose a Pd-catalyzed reaction protocol that regioselectively difunctionalizes unactivated olefins with aryl iodides and tethered enolates. The current method allows the rapid synthesis of a variety of 1,3,4-trisubstituted pyrrolidinones from simple and readily available amides. We further demonstrate this new method's application by postsynthetically modifying the arylacetic acid side chains of two commercial nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, indomethacin and tolmetin, to highly decorated 4-benzylpyrrolidinone frameworks. Mechanistic studies reveal that the reaction proceeds via a Heck reaction/enolate cyclization cascade, a process that exploits β-H elimination in a constructive mode for regioselective 1,2-difunctionalization of unactivated olefins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry