The Catalytic Intramolecular Friedel-Crafts Acylation of Meldrum's Acid Derivatives and The Total Synthesis of Taiwaniaquinol B
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The intramolecular Friedel-Crafts acylation of aromatics with Meldrum?s acid derivatives catalyzed by metal trifluoromethanesulfonates and other Lewis acids is reported. Meldrum?s acids are easily prepared, functionalized, handled, and purified. The synthesis of polysubstituted 1-indanones from benzyl Meldrum's acids was investigated thoroughly, and it was shown that a variety of catalysts were effective, whilst accommodating a diversity of functional groups under mild conditions. The scope, limitations, and functional group tolerance (terminal alkene and alkyne, ketal, dialkyl ether, dialkyl thioether, aryl methyl ether, aryl TIPS and TBDPS ethers, nitrile- and nitro-substituted aryls, alkyl and aryl halides) for a variety of 5-benzyl (enolizable Meldrum?s acids) and 5-benzyl-5-substituted Meldrum?s acids (quaternarized Meldrum?s acids), forming 1-indanones and 2-substituted-1-indanones respectively, are delineated. <br ><br /> This method was further applied to the synthesis of 1-tetralones, 1-benzosuberones, and the potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor donepezil. <br ><br /> Mechanistic investigations were undertaken to determine the rate-determining step in the acylation sequence using Meldrum?s acid, as well as to examine the role of the Lewis acid catalyst. Enolizable Meldrum?s acid derivatives can react via an acyl ketene intermediate under thermal conditions, while quaternarized Meldrum?s acid derivatives are thermally stable and only act as effective Friedel-Crafts acylating agents in the presence of a Lewis acid catalyst. <br ><br /> The total synthesis of (±)-Taiwaniaquinol B was completed. This natural product was the first ever isolated containing an unusual 6-5-6 fused ring system, and it also contains a hexasubstituted aromatic ring, and two all-carbon quaternary centers. This synthesis was accomplished via an intramolecular Friedel-Crafts acylation/carbonyl a-<em>tert</em>-alkylation reaction that exploits the unique chemistry of Meldrum?s acid. This novel methodology can be used to access a variety of highly substituted fused ring systems of various sizes.