Synfacts 2007(5): 0542-0542  
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-968405
Organo- and Biocatalysis
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Organocatalytic Asymmetric Friedel-Crafts Alkylation of Indoles with Enones

Contributor(s): Benjamin List, Nolwenn J. A. Martin
G. Bartoli, M. Bosco, A. Carlone, F. Pesciaioli, L. Sambri, P. Melchiorre*
Università di Bologna, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
24 April 2007 (online)


Melchiorre and co-workers reported an efficient asymmetric organocatalytic alkylation of indoles 1 with simple α,β-unsaturated ketones 2, giving access to a broad range of highly enantio­enriched β-indolyl ketones 3. The reaction is catalyzed by amine salt 4, in which both the cation and anion are chiral, through iminium ion catalysis, and tolerates steric and electronic demands of the β-olefin substitutent as well as aromatic ketones. The methodology can also be applied to substituted indoles without affecting the effi­ciency of the system. However, substitution on the indolic nitrogen leads to a strong decrease of the reactivity and has a detrimental effect on the ­selectivity.