The asymmetric aldol reaction with formaldehyde is a fundamental carbon-carbon bond-forming reaction in organic synthesis, as well as in the quest of the origin of life, as it is thought to have been the first "molecular brick" involved in the synthetic path to complex sugars. Products of aldol reactions, i.e., the β-hydroxy carbonyl compounds, are versatile building blocks used to access a great variety of functionalised molecules. The employment of formaldehyde, as a C1 symmetric electrophile, in aldol reactions can be likely considered the most challenging, yet simplest, process to introduce a hydroxymethyl group in an asymmetric fashion. In this account, an overview of the progress achieved in the asymmetric metal- and organocatalysed aldol reaction, using readily available formalin or paraformaldehyde sources, is illustrated. Our recent contribution to this area, with the application of asymmetric hydroxymethylation in cascade processes for the synthesis of γ-butyrolactones, is also shown.

Asymmetric Aldol Reaction with Formaldehyde: A Challenging Process

MENINNO, SARA;LATTANZI, Alessandra
2016-01-01

Abstract

The asymmetric aldol reaction with formaldehyde is a fundamental carbon-carbon bond-forming reaction in organic synthesis, as well as in the quest of the origin of life, as it is thought to have been the first "molecular brick" involved in the synthetic path to complex sugars. Products of aldol reactions, i.e., the β-hydroxy carbonyl compounds, are versatile building blocks used to access a great variety of functionalised molecules. The employment of formaldehyde, as a C1 symmetric electrophile, in aldol reactions can be likely considered the most challenging, yet simplest, process to introduce a hydroxymethyl group in an asymmetric fashion. In this account, an overview of the progress achieved in the asymmetric metal- and organocatalysed aldol reaction, using readily available formalin or paraformaldehyde sources, is illustrated. Our recent contribution to this area, with the application of asymmetric hydroxymethylation in cascade processes for the synthesis of γ-butyrolactones, is also shown.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4673489
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