Late-Stage C-H Alkylation of Heterocycles and 1,4-Quinones via Oxidative Homolysis of 1,4-Dihydropyridines

Álvaro Gutiérrez-Bonet, Camille Remeur, Jennifer K. Matsui, Gary A. Molander

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199 Scopus citations


Under oxidative conditions, 1,4-dihydropyridines (DHPs) undergo a homolytic cleavage, forming exclusively a Csp3-centered radical that can engage in the C-H alkylation of heterocyclic bases and 1,4-quinones. DHPs are readily prepared from aldehydes, and considering that aldehydes normally require harsh reaction conditions to take part in such transformations, with mixtures of alkylated and acylated products often being obtained, this net decarbonylative alkylation approach becomes particularly useful. The present method takes place under mild reaction conditions and requires only persulfate as a stoichiometric oxidant, making the procedure suitable for the late-stage C-H alkylation of complex molecules. Notably, structurally complex pharmaceutical agents could be functionalized or prepared with this protocol, such as the antimalarial Atovaquone and antitheilerial Parvaquone, thus evidencing its applicability. Mechanistic studies revealed a likely radical chain process via the formation of a dearomatized intermediate, providing a deeper understanding of the factors governing the reactivity of these radical forebears.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12251-12258
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number35
StatePublished - 6 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


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