Organocatalytic enantioselective dearomatization of thiophenes by 1,10-conjugate addition of indole imine methides.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25165-7
Catalytic asymmetric dearomatization (CADA) is a powerful tool for the rapid construction of diverse chiral cyclic molecules from cheap and easily available arenes. This work reports an organocatalytic enantioselective dearomatization of substituted thiophenes in the context of a rare remote asymmetric 1,10-conjugate addition. By suitable stabilization of the thiophenyl carbocation with an indole motif in the form of indole imine methide, excellent remote chemo-, regio-, and stereocontrol in the nucleophilic addition can be achieved with chiral phosphoric acid catalysis under mild conditions. This protocol can be successfully extended to the asymmetric dearomatization of other heteroarenes including selenophenes and furans. Control experiments and DFT calculations demonstrate a possible pathway in which hydrogen bonding plays an important role in selectivity control.