Both the sigmatropic and electrocyclic rearrangement pathways that can arise when a pair of alkenyl anions are added to a squarate ester have high stereochemical demands. The distinction is nontrivial. When cis addition occurs initially, the stereoinduction that materializes at this point is fully transmitted into the product (s). The more commonly observed trans addition exhibits fleeting stereochemical consequences because of rapid equilibration of the octatetraenyl intermediates. In this instance, product distribution is governed by the relative rates of conrotatory cyclization at this advanced stage. Herein reported is a complete dissection of a squarate cascade when a stereogenic center attached to an amino substituent effects 1,5-asymmetric induction prior to β-elimination of the entire fragment. Deuterium labeling permits a direct measure of the contrasting kinetic imbalances associated with the two possible modes of alkenyl anion addition. Furthermore, quantitative analysis of the partitioning experienced by the two helical octatetraenes is readily accomplished. This work constitutes the first example where a complete dynamic profile for these complex processes has been possible. The fact that long-range asymmetric induction has been instrumental in solving the mechanistic puzzle is noteworthy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry