A novel approach to medium-sized cyclic ethers was devised using a Stevens [1,2]-shift of a sulfonium ylide derived from a readily accessible six-membered mixed-monothioacetal precursor. The concise and efficient transformation offers a surprising degree of chirality transfer with observed retention of stereochemical configuration on the anomeric migrating carbon and has been applied as the key step in an enantioselective formal synthesis of (+)-laurencin.
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