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Communication | Special issue | Vol 80, No. 1, 2010, pp.125-131
Published online, 13th July, 2009
DOI: 10.3987/COM-09-S(S)27
Stereoselective Synthesis of α-Methylene-γ-butyrolactams from Ethyl 2-(Bromomethyl)acrylate and Chiral Sulfinyl Aldimines Mediated by Indium

Haythem K. Dema, Francisco Foubelo,* and Miguel Yus*

*Department of Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences and Institute of Organic Synthesis (ISO), University of Alicante, P.O. Box 99, 03080 Alicante, Spain


The reaction of ethyl 2-(bromomethyl)acrylate (1) with chiral N-tert-butylsulfinyl aldimines 2 and indium powder in THF at 100 ºC for 48 h affords, after hydrolysis, a mixture of N-tert-butylsulfinyl aminoesters 3 and α-methylene-γ-butyrolactams 4. From the reaction mixture, compounds 3 were quantitatively converted to the expected butyrolactams 4 after removal of the tert-butylsulfinyl group under acidic conditions and final basic workup. The whole process takes place in high overall yields and with fairly good stereoselectivities.