We report the regioselective carbonylation of 2,2-disubstituted epoxides to β,β-disubstituted β-lactones. Mechanistic studies revealed epoxide ring-opening as the turnover limiting step, an insight that facilitated the development of improved reaction conditions using weakly donating, ethereal solvents. A wide range of epoxides can be carbonylated to β-lactones, which are subsequently ring-opened to produce ketone-based aldol adducts, providing an alternative to the Mukaiyama aldol reaction. Enantiopure epoxides were demonstrated to undergo the carbonylation/ring-opening process with retention of stereochemistry to form enantiopure β-hydroxy esters.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.