2-Isopropylbenzimidazole and 2-methylbenzimidazole have been found to be effective bulky proton sources for stereoselective protonation of chiral enolate anions. 2-Isopropylbenzimidazole worked in the stereoselective protonation of the Birch reduction of chiral α,β-unsaturated imides. On the other hand, 2-methylbenzimidazole was found to be the best protonation reagent in the isomerization reaction of α,β-unsaturated imide into β,γ-unsaturated imide. The Birch reduction using 2-isopropylbenzimidazole realized a concise and stereoselective synthesis of δ-lactone 14, a sex pheromone of Macrocentrus grandii, while the isomerization reaction using 2-methylbenzimidazole was employed in the highly stereoselective synthesis of the γ-lactone intermediate in the synthesis of depsipeptide antibiotics. These bulky proton sources would be powerful tools to achieve a concise synthesis of natural products.
ASJC Scopus subject areas