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Communication | Regular issue | Vol 55, No. 12, 2001, pp.2257-2260
Published online, 1st January, 1970
DOI: 10.3987/COM-01-9336
Synthesis of 3-Methylthio-4-aryl-3-pyrroline-2,5-diones and 3-Arylpyrrolidine-2,5-diones by Reaction of Nitroketene Dithioacetal with Arylacetonitriles

Yasuhiro Shigemitsu and Yoshinori Tominaga*

*Industrial Technology Center of Nagasaki, 2-1303-8, Omura, Nagasaki, 856-0026


The reaction of nitroketene dithioacetal (1a), i.e., 2,2-bis(methylthio)-1-nitroethylene, with arylacetonitriles (2a-I) in the presence of the base like sodium hydroxide gave 4-nitrobut-2-enenitriles (3a-I) which were converted into 5-hydroxyimino-4-methylthio-3-phenyl-3-pyrrolin-2-ones (4a-i) under refluxing in methanol. Title compounds (5a-i) were readily obtained by the treatment of 4a-i with hydrochloric acid and were finally led to N-methylated products (6a-I) with methyl iodide. The reduction of maleimides (4 - 6) with zinc dust in acetic acid afforded the corresponding 3-arylpyrrolidine-2,5-diones (7a-i) that can be converted to pharmacologycally active compounds like mesembrines.