The framework of 2-pyridones is prevalent in biologically and medicinally important molecules. Here we report that chiral N-substituted 2-pyridones were prepared by enantioselective, organocatalytic aza-Michael additions of halogenated 2-hydroxypyridines (pyridin-2(1H)-ones) to α,β-unsaturated-1,4-dketones or 1,4-ketoesters. The reactions were optimized by the choice of solvents and systematic screening of Cinchona alkaloid-based bifunctional catalysts to achieve excellent yields and enantioselectivities (up to 98% yield and >99% ee). Density functional theory calculations provided rationales for the observed enantioselectivity. Formal synthesis of a human rhinovirus protease inhibitor was achieved using the chiral Michael adduct generated by this method. (Figure presented.).
- Cinchona alkaloid
- Michael addition
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