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A two-step approach to achieve secondary amide transamidation enabled by nickel catalysis


A long-standing challenge in synthetic chemistry is the development of the transamidation reaction. This process, which involves the conversion of one amide to another, is typically plagued by unfavourable kinetic and thermodynamic factors. Although some advances have been made with regard to the transamidation of primary amide substrates, secondary amide transamidation has remained elusive. Here we present a simple two-step approach that allows for the elusive overall transformation to take place using non-precious metal catalysis. The methodology proceeds under exceptionally mild reaction conditions and is tolerant of amino-acid-derived nucleophiles. In addition to overcoming the classic problem of secondary amide transamidation, our studies expand the growing repertoire of new transformations mediated by base metal catalysis.

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