Reactions facilitating inversion of alkene stereochemistry are rare, sought-after transformations in the field of modern organic synthesis. Although a number of isomerization reactions exist, most methods require specific, highly activated substrates to achieve appreciable conversion without side product formation. Motivated by stereoinvertive epoxide carbonylation reactions, we developed a two-step epoxidation/deoxygenation process that results in overall inversion of alkene stereochemistry. Unlike most deoxygenation systems, carbon monoxide was used as the terminal reductant, preventing difficult postreaction separations, given the gaseous nature of the resulting carbon dioxide byproduct. Various alkyl-substituted cis- A nd trans-epoxides can be reduced to trans- A nd cis-alkenes, respectively, in >99:1 stereospecificity and up to 95% yield, providing an alternative to traditional, direct isomerization approaches.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.