A series of pyridyl-substituted 3-hydroxy-2-oxyindoles have been prepared and reacted with arenes in superacid promoted Friedel-Crafts reactions. The product aryl-substituted 2-oxyindoles are formed in generally good yields. With substituted arenes such as toluene, bromobenzene, or ethyl salicylate, the Friedel-Crafts reactions occur with excellent regioselectivity. A mechanism is proposed involving dicationic, superelectrophilic species leading to the electrophilic aromatic substitution chemistry.
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We gratefully acknowledge the support of the NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences ( GM085736-01A1 ) and the Northern Illinois University for Great Journeys Fellowship (R.R.N.).