Synthesis of the tetracyclic framework of the erythrina alkaloids using a [4 + 2]-cycloaddition/Rh(I)-catalyzed cascade of 2-imidofurans.
Several 2-imido substituted furans were found to undergo a rapid intramolecular [4 + 2]-cycloaddition to deliver oxabicyclo adducts in good to excellent yields. By using a Rh(I)-catalyzed ring opening of the resulting oxabicyclic adduct, it was possible to prepare several highly functionalized tetrahydro-1H-indol-2(3H)-one derivatives which were then used to prepare several erythrina alkaloids. By taking advantage of the Rh(I)-catalyzed reaction, it was possible to convert tert-butyl 3-oxo-5-carbomethoxy-10-oxa-2-azatricyclo[126.96.36.199(1,5)]dec-8-ene-2-carboxylate into the ring opened boronate by reaction with phenylboronic acid. Treatment of the boronate with pinacol/acetic acid afforded the corresponding diol which was used in a successful synthesis of racemic 3-demethoxyerythratidinone. During the course of these studies, several novel rearrangement reactions were encountered while attempting to induce an acid-initiated Pictet Spengler cyclization of a key lactam intermediate. The IMDAF/Rh(I)-catalyzed ring opening cascade sequence was also applied to the total synthesis of (+/-)-erysotramidine as well as the lycorine type alkaloid (+/-)-epi-zephyranthine.
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