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Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society

Print version ISSN 0103-5053

J. Braz. Chem. Soc. vol.22 no.8 São Paulo Aug. 2011

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-50532011000800022 

ARTICLE

 

Hyphenating the curtius rearrangement with Morita-Baylis-Hillman adducts: synthesis of biologically active acyloins and vicinal aminoalcohols

 

 

Giovanni W. Amarante; Mayra Cavallaro; Fernando Coelho*

Laboratório de Síntese de Produtos Naturais e Fármacos, Instituto de Química, Universidade de Campinas, 13083-970 Campinas-SP, Brazil

 

 


ABSTRACT

Using Morita-Baylis-Hillman adducts as substrates, the Curtius rearrangement was performed in a sequence that allowed the synthesis of several hydroxy-ketones (acyloins) with great structural diversity and in good overall yields. These acyloins in turn were easily transformed into 1,2-anti aminoalcohols through a highly diastereoselective reductive amination step. The synthetic utility of these approaches was exemplified by performing the syntheses of (±)-bupropion, a drug used to treat the abstinence syndrome of smoker and (±)-spisulosine, a potent anti-tumoral compound originally isolated from a marine source.

Keywords: Curtius rearrangement, Morita-Baylis-Hillman, drugs, aminoalcohols, acyloins


RESUMO

Um rearranjo de Curtius, utilizando adutos de Morita-Baylis-Hillman como substrato, foi realizado em uma sequência que permitiu a síntese de várias hidroxi-cetonas (aciloínas) com uma grande diversidade estrutural e com bons rendimentos globais. Por sua vez, essas aciloínas foram transformadas em 1,2-amino-alcoóis de configuração relativa anti, através de uma etapa de aminação redutiva altamente diastereosseletiva. A utilidade sintética dessas abordagens foi demonstrada através das sínteses totais da (±)-bupropiona, fármaco utilizado no tratamento na síndrome de abstinência de fumantes e da (±)-espisulosina, um potente agente anti-tumoral isolado inicialmente de uma fonte marinha.


 

 

Introduction

The formation of new C-N bonds by incorporation of a nitrogen atom into a molecule is a fundamental transformation in organic chemistry, since it allows accessing many valuable compounds.1 Basically, this can be achieved by nucleophilic substitution reactions or by electrophilic amination reactions.2

A C-N bond can also be built through rearrangement reactions. For instance, Lossen,3 Beckman,4 Schmidt5 and Curtius6 rearrangements are processes which allow the efficient formation of a new C-N bond from carbonyl containing derivative compounds.

The Curtius rearrangement is a thermal decomposition of a carbonyl azide leading to an isocyanate. This stereospecific rearrangement provides carbamates or amines in good overall yields and selectivities. Unfortunately, this rearrangement has the drawback that low molar mass acyl azides present an explosion hazard.7 This safety issue has limited the industrial use of this transformation until recently, when Am Ende et al.8 reported a new experimental protocol, which enabled the use of this reaction under safer conditions even when conducted on a large scale. This and other protocols have revived interest in this rearrangement, particularly for industrial purposes.9

Regarding the potential of this rearrangement, our group has recently reported the preparation of some carbamates from Morita-Baylis-Hillman (MBH) adducts.10 Curtius rearrangement would be the best way to achieve our target, since the carboxyl group in this structure is needed to perform this rearrangement. Thus, when an acid derived from a MBH adduct was treated with sodium azide, heated at reflux and treated subsequently with t-butanol, the corresponding ene-carbamate was formed in good overall yield. However, in some examples it was observed the occurrence of a byproduct (ca. 12-15%) which was characterized as being an acyloin (Scheme 1).

The acyloin formation was easily explained by the presence of water (tiny amount) in the t-BuOH used to transform the intermediate ene-isocyanate into the corresponding ene-carbamate. This undesirable side reaction caught our attention, since α-hydroxyketones (acyloins) are structural motifs present in several biologically active compounds, in which the activity is closely associated with the presence of this structural pattern. Due to the synthetic and biological relevance of acyloins, several synthetic approaches have already been developed in order to prepare them. Conventionally, α-hydroxy ketones are prepared by the acyloin condensation reaction,11 oxidation of enolates or double bonds,12 or reduction of α-diketones or esters.13 Recently, a method based on ketohydroxylation of alkenes was developed to give acyloins.14 Alternatively, radical oxidation of a 1,3-dicarbonyl compound with cerium salts could also be used for the preparation of acyloins.15 Most recently, a skeletal rearrangement of symmetrically α,α-disubstituted α-amino aldehyde has been reported as a new strategy for preparing acyloins.16

Beyond its biological importance, α-hydroxyketones are also an interesting synthetic platform that allows further chemical transformations. For instance, a α-hydroxyketone can be easily transformed into a α-aminoketone. This structural pattern is present in some commercial drugs, such as bupropion [(±)-α-t-butylamino-3-chloropropiophenone] (1, Figure 1), a potent synthetic inhibitor of dopamine reuptake with subtle noradrenergic reuptake.17 Bupropion is an atypical antidepressant, which has been licensed by FDA to treat the abstinence syndrome of smokers.18

 

 

Vicinal aminoalcohols (or 1,2-aminoalcohols) are structural units that currently occur in several biologically active compounds. They are also part of several chiral catalysts and new materials.

The biological and synthetic importances of this structural motif have stimulated the development of several methods to synthesize it, both in racemic and enantiomerically pure forms.19 Classically, syn-1,2-aminoalcohols can be prepared in their racemic or asymmetric versions using the aminohydroxylation strategy developed by Sharpless et al.20 Another efficient way to prepare vicinal aminoalcohols is by the opening of an epoxide ring with a suitable nitrogen source, such as amines or azide ions, to provide aminoalcohols or azidoalcohols, respectively.21,22

By using simple chemical transformations, α-hydroxyketones (acyloins) can also be used as substrates for the stereoselective preparation of 1,2-aminoalcohols.23

Spisulosine (2, Figure 1) is a sphingoid-type base which presents a long unsaturated alkyl chain (C15) and a 1,2-aminoalcohol motif in an anti relationship.24 This compound was isolated from extracts obtained from the clam Spisula polynyma and exhibits a promising activity against prostate cancer.25

In a research program directed towards the total synthesis of drugs from Morita-Baylis-Hillman adducts,26 we describe herein the synthesis of α-hydroxyketones and their diastereoselective transformations into anti-1,2-aminoalcohols. To exemplify the synthetic utility of this approach, we also describe the syntheses of the drugs (+/-)-bupropion and (+/-)-spisulosine.

 

Results and Discussion

The present work began by preparing the MBH adducts, according to a procedure previously developed in our laboratory.27 The strategy provides the corresponding adducts in good to high yields. The results are summarized in Table 1.

 

 

Initially, the Curtius rearrangement without protection of the secondary hydroxyl group was of interesting in this work. So, adduct 3 was hydrolysed in the presence of LiOH in an acetonitrile:H2O (1:1) mixture to give a hydroxyacid in almost quantitative yield (> 98%). When this acid was treated with ethyl chloroformate, extensive degradation of our starting material was observed by TLC analysis.

In an attempt to circumvent this issue, the secondary hydroxyl group of the MBH adducts was protected, before ester hydrolysis. Thus, adducts 3-12 were treated with TBSCl or TBSOTf in DMF or dichloromethane, in the presence of imidazole or triethylamine, respectively. The silylated adducts (13-22) were obtained in good to excellent yields. Soon after, ester hydrolysis was carried out with LiOH, in an acetonitrile:H2O mixture at 60 ºC to produce acids 23-32 in excellent yields. The results of these steps are summarized in Table 2.

The Curtius rearrangement was initiated using diphenylphosphoryl azide (DPPA).28 This reagent is supposed to react with a carboxylic acid to provide an isocyanate in a single step. A solution of silyl-acid 23 in toluene was therefore treated with DPPA at reflux for 20 h. Unfortunately, it was unable to isolate any isocyanate. Instead, a complete destruction of the silylated acid was observed.

Because of this result, it was decided to perform the Curtius rearrangement by using a classical experimental protocol. Thus, an acetone solution of silylated acids was treated with ethyl chloroformate in the presence of triethylamine at 0 ºC for 5 min. After that, sodium azide was added to the reaction mixture and this mixture was vigorously stirred for 2 h. The crude products were refluxed in dry toluene for 2 h to give the corresponding isocyanates, which finally were refluxed in water to furnish a set of acyloins in good overall yield (ranging from 35 to 50% for 3 steps). The results are summarized in Table 3.

 

 

Acyloins were obtained in good overall yield in three steps from Morita-Baylis-Hillman adducts. The strategy is simple and requires no special conditions such as low temperature, dry solvents or special catalysts. Moreover, it uses reagents which are routinely found in organic synthesis laboratories.

The bifunctional identity (one eletrophilic group and another nucleophilic) makes acyloins an important building block in organic synthesis. They can be converted into several different functional groups, such as alcohols, diols, epoxides, amines, hydroxylamines and haloketones. This synthetic versatility explains the frequent use of acyloins as building blocks for the synthesis of pharmaceutical compounds.29

A ketone carbonyl group can be promptly transformed into an amine by a reductive amination reaction. Applications of this reaction are widespread in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and chemical industries, and in materials science and biotechnology.30-32

Recently, Cabral et al.33 have developed a simple method to perform a reductive amination, based on in situ formation of an iminium, followed by reduction with LiBH4. Thus, this was viewed in the present work as an attractive opportunity to test this method to prepare vicinal aminoalcohols from our acyloins.

A methanol solution of 35 was treated with LiBH4 in the presence of an excess of benzylamine (3 equiv.) at -72 ºC to give aminoalcohol 46 in 83% yield and excellent 1,2-anti diastereoselectivity (97:3 d.r., anti:syn).This simple sequence has allowed the development of a highly diastereoselective synthesis of several different aminoalcohols in good yields. The results are summarized in Table 4.

For all cases examined, the vicinal aminoalcohols were obtained in good yields and with excellent diastereoselectivities. To confirm the 1,2-anti relative stereochemistry, the silyl protecting group of aminoalcohol 44 was removed by treatment with TBAF. The unprotected vicinal aminoalcohol 55 was reacted with triphosgene to afford oxazolidinone 56, in 70% yield (Scheme 2). The coupling constant between hydrogens Ha and Hb was found to be 8.2 Hz, which it is in agreement with typical coupling constants for a cis relationship in oxazolidinones formed from a 1,2-anti aminoalcohol (Scheme 2).34

The presence of a bulky protecting group on the secondary hydroxyl group might play an important role in the iminium reduction step. Most likely the hydride attack occurs at the opposite side from the protecting group. To experimentally validate this hypothesis, silylated acyloin 35 was treated with TBAF in methanol to provide acyloin 57 in 80% yield. A methanol solution of 57 at -72 ºC was treated with LiBH4 to afford aminoalcohol 58 in 70% yield and moderate diastereoselectivity (87:13 d.r.; anti:syn) (Scheme 3).

This result shows the effect of the silyl protecting group on the diastereoselectivity of the reduction step. Besides, the lithium atom could be complexed both with the nitrogen and the oxygen lone pairs (Figure 2). This arrangement allows the hydride to approach only from the less hindered side. The oxygen atom attached to the silicon of the TBS group has a low basicity, however it is still able to establish intramolecular hydrogen bonds in order to control stereoselectivities of reactions.35

 

 

The Curtius rearrangement carried out with MBH adducts has allowed the development of a new approach to prepare α-hydroxyketones, which have been used to prepare diastereoselective 1,2-anti vicinal aminoalcohols.

Searching to demonstrate the synthetic utility of these approaches, the total synthesis of two pharmacologically active compounds is now described. (±)-Bupropion (1, Figure 1) is an aminoketone acting on CNS.36 This compound is commmercialized in its racemic form, since it racemizes very quickly in the body when administered in its enantiomerically pure form. Our target compound could be prepared from acyloin 34 (Figure 3). A 1,2-carbonyl transposition reaction is required to provide 59, which can be converted uneventfully to (±)-1.37

A direct way to perform the required 1,2-carbonyl transposition was using the Lobry-de Bruyn-van Ekenstein transformation.38 This reaction, currently used in carbohydrate chemistry, is essentially an enolization of a sugar having a hydrogen at the α-carbon to the carbonyl group and proceeds via an enediol intermediate. Some acyloins rearrange with positions exchanged under the influence of base in this transformation. To test this alternative, the TBS group of acyloin 34 was removed by treatment with TBAF in methanol for 12 h to give the corresponding unprotected acyloin in 75% yield. A methanol solution of this acyloin was reacted with a 30% solution of NaOH at room temperature. As a result, an extensive acyloin degradation was observed even at lower temperatures (-5 and -10 ºC). We also tested the Voight amination (formation of ketoamine by treatment of an acyloin with P2O5 in the presence of a primary amine), however this reaction also failed.39

Due to these results, the synthetic approach towards the synthesis of bupropion was changed. As an alternative, the required transposition could be done in three steps. Thus, carbonyl reduction of the acyloin (±)-34 directly led to a monoprotected diol (±)-60 in almost quantitative yield. TBS removal was performed in the presence of TBAF to afford diol (±)-61 in 97% yield, as a mixture of diastereoisomers. Selective benzylic oxidation of (±)-61 with IBX in DMSO expectedly led to the 1,2-carbonyl transposition product (±)-59, as the sole product, in 85% yield (3 steps, 81% overall yield, Scheme 4).

Bupropion, in its racemic version, was obtained in 7 steps from Morita-Baylis-Hillman 4, in 27% overall yield. The sequence is facile to execute and can be scaled-up without problems.

The synthetic methods described in this paper can be combined in order to synthesize spisulosine (2, Figure 1) as a racemate. This natural anti-tumoral compound can be prepared from acyloin 42, using a diastereoselective reductive amination step (Scheme 5).

The diastereoselective total synthesis of spisulosine was accomplished from acyloin (±)-42 using a very simple and direct sequence. Reductive amination of acyloin (±)-42 was performed with an excess of benzylamine to give vicinal aminoalcohol (±)-62, with high anti diastereoselectivity (> 95:5, anti:syn), in 68% yield (Scheme 6). To quickly finish the synthesis, it was only necessary to remove the protecting groups (TBS and benzyl). For thus, a solution of (±)-62 in methanol was acidified with some drops of concentrated HCl and the mixture was poured into a hydrogenating bottle containing 10% Pd on charcoal (10 mol%). To our surprise, after several hours at 60 psi, neither of the protecting groups was removed. Perhaps, the long carbon chain favoured the formation of mycelles, which could interact with the solid catalyst.

To solve this unexpected issue, a mixture of solvents for the hydrogenation reaction was used. Thus, a mixture of (±)-62 in dichloromethane:acetic acid (1.5:1) in the presence of 10% Pd/C at 60 psi and 50 ºC was shaken for 20 h to furnish the debenzylated aminoalcohol (±)-63 in 87% yield.

Finally, the TBS group of (±)-63 was removed by the treatment with concentrated HCl (0.1 mL) in a solution of dichoromethane:methanol (1:1; 1 mL) to give (±)-spisulosine (2) in 98% yield. All spectroscopic and physical data are identical to those described in literature for natural and synthetic spisulosine (Scheme 6).24,40

Spisulosine was synthetized in 7 steps from hexadecanal with an overall yield of 10%. The strategy is very simple and requires no special conditions such as low temperature or dry solvents. If the sequence begins with adduct 12 in its enantiomerically pure form, it would allow the enantioselective synthesis of spisulosine. By using this strategy, spisulosine derivatives can also be synthesized using the sequence described herein.

 

Conclusions

In summary, the Curtius rearrangement coupled with Morita-Baylis-Hillman adducts as substrate has proven to be an alternative for the preparation of interesting building blocks for organic syntheses. This combination allowed the synthesis of a set of acyloins in good overall yields for three steps. Reductive amination of these acyloins gave vicinal aminoalcohols in good overall yields and with high diastereoselectivities, in favor of the 1,2-anti isomer. Moreover, we have demonstrated that these methods can be used in the synthesis of important pharmacologically active compounds. Thus, (±)-bupropion was prepared in 7 steps from a MBH adduct, in 27% overall yield. Using this strategy we also showed a highly diastereoselective total synthesis of (±)-spisulosine which was accomplished in 7 steps from hexadecanal with an overall yield of 10%.

 

Experimental

General procedure

The 1H and 13C NMR spectra were recorded on a Bruker at 250 and 62.5 MHz, respectively, or on an Inova instrument at 500 and 125 MHz, respectively. High resolution mass (HRMS) spectra were recorded using a Q-TOF Micromass equipment (Waters, UK). Manipulations and reactions were not performed under dry atmospheres or employing dry solvents, unless otherwise specified. In those cases CH2Cl2, DMF and triethylamine were dried over CaH2 and distilled. Purification and separations by column chromatography were performed on silica gel, using normal or flash chromatography. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) was detected by spraying with 5% ethanolic phosphomolybdic acid and heating. All the Morita-Baylis-Hillman reactions were sonicated in an ultrasonic cleaner (81 W, 40 MHz).

General procedure for the synthesis of the Morita-Baylis-Hillman adducts

A mixture of aldehyde (3-10 mmol), methyl acrylate (excess, ca. 5 equiv.) and DABCO (0.65 equiv.) was sonicated in an ultrasound bath at 30 ºC. Reaction evolution was followed by TLC analysis. For the preparation of the MBH adducts 10 and 12 the reaction was carried out using methyl acrylate (10 equiv.), ionic liquid ([bmim]BF4; 5 drops) as an additive, at 50 ºC with stirring. The excess of methyl acrylate was removed under vaccum. The crude residue was diluted in ethyl acetate (25 mL). The organic layer was washed with distilled water (15 mL), brine (2 × 15 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue was purified by flash silica gel column chromatography (ethyl acetate:hexanes, up to 30:70) to provide the MBH adducts in good to high yields.

(±)-Methyl 2-[hydroxy(2-nitrophenyl)methyl]prop-2-enoate (3): 92% yield, pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3469, 1716, 1630, 1528, 1352; 1H NMR (500 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.94 (dd, J 1.2/8.2 Hz, 1H), 7.78 (d, 1H, J 7.9 Hz), 7.61-7.67 (m, 1H), 7.41-7.48 (m, 1H), 6.36 (s, 1H), 6.20 (s, 1H), 5.72 (s, 1H), 3.73 (s, 3H), 3.08 (s, 1H, OH); 13C NMR (125 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.3, 148.2, 140.7, 136.0, 133.4, 128.8, 128.6, 126.4, 124.5, 67.6, 52.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C11H11NO5[M + Na+]: 260.0529. Found: 260.0530.

(±)-Methyl 2-[(3-chlorophenyl)(hydroxy)methyl] prop-2-enoate (4): 89% yield, colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3452, 1711, 1433, 1282, 1151, 1041; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.36 (s, 1H), 7.21-7.26 (m, 3H), 6.34 (s, 1H), 5.84 (s, 1H), 5.49 (s, 1H), 3.71 (s, 3H), 3.16 (s, 1H, OH); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.6, 143.4, 141.4, 134.3, 129.7, 127.9, 126.7, 124.8, 72.6, 52.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C11H11O3Cl [M + Na+]: 249.0294. Found: 249.0318.

(±)-Methyl 2-[hydroxy(phenyl)methyl]prop-2-enoate (5): 75% yield, oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3448, 2949, 1711, 1446, 1270, 1155, 1041; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.21-7.37 (m, 5H), 6.31 (s, 1H), 5.86 (s, 1H), 5.52 (s, 1H), 3.65 (s, 3H), 3.45 (s, 1H, OH); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.7, 142.1, 141.4, 128.4, 127.8, 126.7, 125.8, 72.8, 51.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C11H12O3 [M + Na+]: 215.0684. Found: 215.0811.

(±)-Methyl 2-[hydroxy(4-methoxyphenyl)methyl]prop-2-enoate (6): 73% yield; amorphous solid; mp 70-72 ºC; IR (KBr) νmax/cm-1: 3465, 1714, 1611, 1512, 1465, 1034; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.29 (d, 2H, J 8.5 Hz), 6.87 (d, 2H, J 8.5 Hz), 6.32 (s, 1H), 5.85 (s, 1H), 5.53 (s, 1H), 3.80 (s, 3H), 3.72 (s, 3H), 2.43 (s, 1H, OH); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.8, 159.2, 142.1, 133.4, 127.9, 125.7, 113.8, 72.8, 55.2, 51.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C12H14O4 [M + Na+]: 245.0784. Found: 245.0780.

(±)-Methyl 2-[hydroxy(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)methyl] prop-2-enoate (7): 60% yield; amorphous solid; mp 121-123 ºC; IR (KBr) νmax/cm-1: 3464, 1712, 1613, 1514, 1463, 1036; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.54 (s, 2H), 6.27 (s, 1H), 5.81 (s, 1H), 5.44 (d, 1H, J 5.0 Hz), 3.78 (s, 6H), 3.77 (s, 3H), 3.69 (s, 3H), 3.35 (d, 1H, J 5.0 Hz); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.8, 153.1, 141.9, 137.2, 137.0, 125.9, 103.5, 72.9, 60.7, 55.9, 52.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C11H11O3Cl [M + Na+]: 305.0996. Found: 305.0989.

(±)-Methyl 2-[hydroxy(thiophen-2-yl)methyl]prop-2-enoate (8): 90% yield; pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3445, 2952, 1715, 1632; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.21 (dd, 1H, J 2.5/3.8 Hz), 6.90-6.93 (m, 2H), 6.32 (s, 1H), 5.95 (s, 1H), 5.73 (d, 1H, J 6,2 Hz), 3.73 (d, 1H, J 6.2 Hz), 3.70 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.5, 145.8, 141.5, 126.8, 126.0, 125.2, 124.8, 69.1, 52.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C9H11O3S [M + H]+: 199.0423. Found: 199.0417.

(±)-Methyl 2-[(2-fluorophenyl)(hydroxy)methyl]prop-2-enoate (9): 95% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3437, 1721; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.42 (dt, 1H, J 1.9/7.5 Hz), 7.21-7.28 (m, 1H), 7.10 (dt, 1H, J 1.2/7.5 Hz), 6.97-7.05 (m, 1H), 6.31 (s, 1H), 5.85 (d, 1H, J 5.5 Hz), 5.76 (s, 1H), 3.69 (s, 3H), 3.62 (d, 1H, J 5.5 Hz); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.7, 160.0 (d, J 245.5 Hz), 140.9, 129.4 (d, J 8.2 Hz), 128.4, 128.1 (d, J 3.7 Hz), 126.3, 124.1 (d, J 3.5 Hz), 115.3 (d, J 21.5 Hz), 66.7, 52.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C11H12FO3 [M + H]+: 211.0765. Found: 211.0762.

(±)-Methyl 3-hydroxy-2-methylenepentanoate (10): 80% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3454, 2928, 2853, 1705, 1287, 1157; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.15 (s, 1H), 5.74 (s, 1H), 4.27 (q, 1H, J 5.7 Hz), 3.69 (s, 3H), 3.00 (d, 1H, J 5.7 Hz), 1.45-1.71 (m, 2H), 0.86 (t, 3H, J 7.4 Hz); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 167.0, 142.3, 124.9, 72.4, 51.7, 29.0, 9.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C7H13O3[M + H] +: 145.0859. Found: 145.0856.

(±)-Methyl 3-hydroxy-2-methylenenonanoate (11): 76% yield; amorphous solid; mp 131-132 ºC; IR (KBr) νmax/cm-1: 3452, 2929, 2855, 1707, 1290, 1155; 1H NMR (500 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.20 (s, 1H), 5.78 (s, 1H), 4.37 (t, 1H, J 6.7 Hz), 3.77 (s, 3H), 1.54-1.71 (m, 2H), 1.19-1.50 (m, 8H), 0.86 (t, 3H, J 6.7 Hz); 13C NMR (125 MHz, CDCl3): δ 167.0, 142.5, 124.9, 71.7, 51.8, 36.2, 31.7, 29.0, 25.7, 22.5, 14.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C11H21O3 [M + H]+: 201.1485. Found: 201.1483.

(±)-Methyl-3-hydroxy-2-methyleneoctadecanoate (12): 60% yield; amorphous solid; mp 43-45 ºC; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3465, 2984, 2929, 2856, 1742, 1374, 1242, 1048; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.21 (s, 1H), 5.79 (t, 1H, J 1.0 Hz), 4.37 (q, 1H, J 6.5 Hz), 3.77 (s, 3H), 2.59 (d, 1H, J 6.5 Hz), 1.55-1.70 (m, 2H), 1.18-1.50 (m, 26H), 0.87 (t, 3H, J 6.9 Hz); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 167, 142.5, 124.9, 71.8, 51.8, 36.2, 31.9, 29.7, 29.63, 29.6, 29.5, 29.4, 29.3, 25.8, 22.7, 14.1; HRMS (ESI) Calcd. for C20H39O3[M + H]+ 327.2894; Found 327.2877.

General procedure for the silylation of Morita-Baylis-Hillman adducts

A mixture of MBH adduct (1-3 mmol), imidazole (2.5 equiv.), TBSCl (1.5 equiv.) and a few drops of DMSO (to facilitate stirring), under argon atmosphere, was stirred at room temperature. After 2-4 h, the crude residue was diluted in ethyl acetate (25 mL). The organic layer was washed with distilled water (15 mL), brine (2 × 15 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The crude mixture was filtered through silica gel (ethyl acetate:hexanes, 30:70) to provide the silylated compounds in good to excellent yields.

(±)-Methyl 2-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](2-fluorophenyl)methyl}prop-2-enoate (13): 97% yield; pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2929, 2851, 1728, 1531, 1352, 1249, 1090, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.78 (d, 1H, J 8.0 Hz), 7.68 (d, 1H, J 8.0 Hz), 7.56 (t, 1H, J 7.5 Hz), 7.37 (t, 1H, J 7.5 Hz), 6.34 (s, 1H), 6.29 (s, 1H), 5.97 (s, 1H), 3.64 (s, 3H), 0.88 (s, 9H), 0.13 (s, 3H), -0.06 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 165.2, 148.2, 143.1, 137.5, 132.6, 129.6, 128.1, 125.0, 123.9, 66.7, 51.8, 25.7, 18.1, -5.1. HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C17H25NO5Si [M + Na+]: 374.1394. Found: 374.1389.

(±)-Methyl 2-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](3-chlorophenyl)methyl}prop-2-enoate (14): > 99% yield; pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2929, 2855, 1707, 1061, 841, 780; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.35 (s, 1H), 7.17-7.32 (m, 3H), 6.28 (s, 1H), 6.10 (s, 1H), 5.58 (s, 1H), 3.69 (s, 3H), 0.88 (s, 9H), 0.06 (s, 3H), -0.08 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (75.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.1, 144.8, 143.4, 133.9, 129.3, 127.5, 127.0, 125.2, 124.4, 72.1, 51.7, 25.7, 18.1, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C17H25ClO3Si [M + Na+]: 363.1154. Found: 363.1150.

(±)-Methyl 2-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](phenyl) methyl}prop-2-enoate (15): > 99% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2851, 1458, 1258, 1082; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.17-7.41 (m, 5H), 6.25 (s, 1H), 6.08 (s, 1H), 5.61 (s, 1H), 3.68 (s, 3H), 0.88 (s, 9H), 0.06 (s, 3H), -0.11 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.4, 143.9, 142.6, 128.0, 127.3, 127.0, 123.8, 72.7, 51.6, 25.7, 18.1, -4.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C17H26O3Si [M + Na+]: 329.1543. Found: 329.1537.

(±)-Methyl 2-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy] (4-methoxyphenyl)methyl}prop-2-enoate (16): > 99% yield; amorphous solid; mp 112-114 ºC; IR (KBr) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2929, 2851, 1715, 1507, 1245, 1047, 833, 771; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.27 (d, 2H, J 7.0 Hz), 6.82 (d, 2H, J 7.0 Hz), 6.22 (s, 1H), 6.06 (s, 1H), 5.56 (s, 1H), 3.78 (s, 3H), 3.67 (s, 3H), 0.87 (s, 9H), 0.06 (s, 3H), -0.11 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (125 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.4, 158.8, 144.1, 134.8, 128.2, 123.3, 113.4, 72.3, 55.1, 51.6, 25.7, 18.1, -4.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C18H28O4Si [M + Na+]: 359.1649. Found: 359.1647.

(±)-Methyl 2-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy] (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)methyl}prop-2-enoate (17): 80% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2950, 2927, 2854, 1718, 1505, 1246, 1051; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.56 (s, 2H), 6.18 (t, 1H, J 1.1 Hz), 5.95 (t, 1H, J 1.5 Hz), 5.53 (s, 1H), 3.78 (s, 6H), 3.67 (s, 3H), 0.85 (s, 9H), 0.03 (s, 3H), -0.10 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.5, 152.8, 143.9, 138.3, 137.0, 123.9, 103.7, 72.4, 60.7, 55.9, ff51.6, 25.6, 18.1, -4.9, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C20H32O6Si [M + Na+]: 419.1860. Found: 419.1855.

(±)-Methyl 2-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](thiophen2-yl)methyl}prop-2-enoate (18): 90% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2954, 2930, 2857, 1723, 1632, 1256, 1082; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.18 (dd, 1H, J 5.0/1.3 Hz), 6.83-6.98 (m, 2H), 6.28 (t, 1H, J 1.1 Hz), 6.12 (t, 1H, J 1.5 Hz), 5.89 (s, 1H), 3.73 (s, 3H), 0.90 (s, 9H), 0.08 (s, 3H), -0.003 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.2, 147.3, 143.5, 126.3, 124.6, 124.4, 124.2, 68.4, 51.7, 25.7, 18.2, -5.1, -5.14; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C15H24O3SSi [M + Na+]: 335.1108. Found: 335.1107.

(±)-Methyl 2-{[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](2-fluorophenyl)methyl}prop-2-enoate (19): 85% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 1723; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.35 (dt, 1H, J 1.5/7.5 Hz), 7.16-7.28 (m, 1H), 6.95-7.14 (m, 2H), 6.34 (s, 1H), 6.07 (s, 1H), 5.95 (s, 1H), 3.66 (s, 3H), 0.87 (s, 9H), 0.08 (s, 3H), -0.09 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.0, 159.8 (d, J 245.7 Hz), 142.7, 129.5 (d, J 13.5 Hz), 129.1, 129.0 (d, J 6.8 Hz), 128.8, 124.8, 123.9 (d, J 3.5 Hz), 115.2 (d, J 22.2 Hz), 65.8, 51.6, 25.7, 18.1, -5.2, -5.3.

(±)-Methyl 3-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-2-methylidenepentanoate (20): 85% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2930, 2845, 1721; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.20-6.23 (m, 1H), 5.86-5.89 (m, 1H), 4.50-4.59 (m, 1H), 3.74 (s, 3H), 1.35-1.75 (m, 2H), 0.90 (s, 9H), 0.85 (t, 3H, J 7.4 Hz), 0.05 (s, 3H), -0.02 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.8, 143.6, 124.5, 71.0, 51.6, 30.3, 25.8, 18.1, 9.0, -4.8, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C17H25FO3Si [M + Na+]: 347.1449 Found: 347.1445.

(±)-Methyl 3-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]2-methylidenenonanoate (21): > 99% yield; amorphous solid; mp 102-103 ºC; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2929, 2859, 1719, 1249, 1090, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.17-6.21 (m, 1H), 5.87-5.90 (m, 1H), 4.52-4.61 (m, 1H), 3.72 (s, 3H), 1.18-1.65 (m, 10H), 0.78-0.92 (m, 12H), 0.04 (s, 3H), -0.04 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.7, 144.1, 124.2, 70.2, 51.5, 37.8, 31.8, 29.1, 25.7, 24.9, 22.6, 18.1, 14.0, -4.8, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C17H34O3Si [M + Na+]: 337.2169. Found: 337.2168.

(±)-Methyl-3-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-2-methyleneoctadecanoate (22): 70% yield; viscous colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2926, 2855, 1722, 1463, 1257, 1092; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.19-6.21 (m, 1H), 5.90 (t, 1H, J 1.6 Hz), 4.56-4.61 (m, 1H), 3.75 (s, 3H), 1.18-1.63 (m, 28H), 0.81-0.93 (m, 12H), 0.05 (s, 3H), -0.02 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 166.7, 144.2, 124.2, 70.2, 51.6, 37.9, 31.9, 29.7, 29.63, 29.6, 29.55, 29.5, 29.3, 25.8, 22.7, 18.1, 14.1, -4.8, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C26H52O3Si [M + Na]+: 463.3578. Found: 463.3572.

General procedure for hydrolysis of silylated esters

To a solution of silylated MBH adduct (1-3 mmol) in a mixture of water:acetonitrile (1:1) was added LiOH (10 equiv.). The resulting solution was stirred for 4 h at 50-60 ºC. Then, the solvents were removed under reduced pressure and the crude mixture was extracted with ethyl acetate. The organic layer was dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue was filtered through silica gel (ethyl acetate as solvent) to provide the corresponding carboxylic acids in almost quantitative yields, for most cases > 99%.

(±)-2-{[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](2-nitrophenyl) methyl}prop-2-enoic acid (23): 97% yield; viscous pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2945, 2864, 2353, 1703, 1531, 1258, 1090, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.81 (d, 1H, J 8.0 Hz), 7.71 (d, 1H, J 8.0 Hz), 7.57 (t, 1H, J 7.5 Hz), 7.38 (t, 1H, J 7.5 Hz), 6.40 (s, 1H), 6.34 (s, 1H), 6.04 (s, 1H), 0.90 (s, 9H), 0.13 (s, 3H), 0.05 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 170.4, 148.1, 142.4, 137.3, 132.7, 129.5, 128.2, 127.2, 124.0, 66.6, 25.7, 18.1, -4.9; HRMS (ESITOF) Calcd. for C16H23NO5Si [M + Na+]: 360.1238. Found: 360.1237.

(±)-2-{[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](3-chlorophenyl) methyl}prop-2-enoic acid (24): 99% yield; viscous colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2929, 2851, 1691, 1437, 1254, 1074, 833, 780; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.34 (s, 1H), 7.18-7.29 (m, 3H), 6.43 (s, 1H), 6.19 (s, 1H), 5.54 (s, 1H), 0.88 (s, 9H), 0.06 (s, 3H), -0.07 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 170.1, 144.4, 142.6, 134.0, 129.4, 127.7, 127.0, 125.1, 71.9, 25.7, 18.1, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C16H23O3ClSi [M + Na+]: 349.0918. Found: 349.1003.

(±)-2-{[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](phenyl)methyl} prop-2-enoic acid (25): 99% yield; yellowish oil; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.20-7.41 (m, 5H), 6.39 (s, 1H), 6.13 (s, 1H), 5.58 (s, 1H), 0.88 (s, 9H), 0.07 (s, 3H), -0.07 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 169.8, 142.9, 141.9, 128.1, 127.6, 126.8, 126.4, 72.8, 25.7, 18.2, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C16H24O3Si [M + Na+]: 315.1393. Found: 315.1338.

(±)-2-{[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](4-methoxyphenyl) methyl}prop-2-enoic acid (26): 98% yield; viscous colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2953, 2925, 2847, 1691, 1507, 1245, 1074, 837, 775; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.25 (d, 2H, J 7.0 Hz), 6.82 (d, 2H, J 7.0 Hz), 6.35 (s, 1H), 6.11 (s, 1H), 5.52 (s, 1H), 3.79 (s, 3H), 0.89 (s, 9H), 0.09 (s, 3H), -0.06 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (125 MHz, CDCl3): δ 170.1, 158.9, 143.1, 134.2, 128.1, 126.0, 113.5, 72.4, 55.2, 25.7, 18.1, -4.9, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C17H26O4Si [M + Na+]: 345.1493. Found: 345.1490.

(±)-2-{[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)methyl}prop-2-enoic acid (27): 99% yield; viscous oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2955, 2923, 2849, 1692, 1509, 1243, 1077; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.58 (s, 2H), 6.37 (s, 1H), 6.08 (s, 1H), 5.53 (s, 1H), 3.81 (s, 9H), 0.89 (s, 9H), 0.06 (s, 3H), -0.05 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 170.9, 152.8, 143.3, 137.9, 137.1, 126.4, 103.7, 72.3, 60.8, 56.0, 25.7, 18.2, -4.9, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C19H30O6Si [M + Na+]: 405.1709. Found: 405.1566.

(±)-2-{[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](thiophen-3-yl) methyl}prop-2-enoic acid (28): 99% yield; viscous colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2959, 2931, 2857, 1691, 1459, 1259, 1074, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.20 (dd, 1H, J 5.0/1.3 Hz), 6.85-6.97 (m, 2H), 6.45 (t, 1H, J 1.0 Hz), 6.23 (t, 1H, J 1.3 Hz), 5.87 (s, 1H), 0.92 (s, 9H), 0.10 (s, 3H), 0.02 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 170.8, 146.9, 142.8, 126.9, 126.4, 124.8, 124.5, 68.3, 25.7, 18.2, -5.1, -5.14; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C14O3H22SSi [M + Na+]: 321.0957. Found: 321.0883.

(±)-2-{[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy](2-fluorophenyl) methyl}prop-2-enoic acid (29): 99% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2951, 2928, 2850, 1692, 1072, 832, 782; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 10.44 (s, 1H, COOH), 7.34 (dt, 1H, J 1.8/7.5 Hz), 7.18-7.29 (m, 1H), 6.95-7.15 (m, 2H), 6.47 (s, 1H), 6.16 (s, 1H), 5.92 (s, 1H), 0.87 (s, 9H), 0.09 (s, 3H), -0.08 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 171.0, 159.8 (d, J 246.1 Hz), 142.1, 129.3 (d, J 3.0 Hz), 129.1 (d, J 2.1 Hz), 128.8 (d, J 3.8 Hz), 127.3, 123.9 (d, J 3.5 Hz), 115.3 (d, J 22.0 Hz), 65.7, 51.6, 25.7, 18.1, -5.2, -5.24; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C16H23O3FSi [M + Na+]: 333.1298. Found: 333.1207.

(±)-3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-2-methylidenepentanoic acid (30): fluid oil; 99% yield; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2923, 2854, 1691, 1253, 1084; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 11.60 (s, 1H, COOH), 6.41 (d, 1H, J 1.2 Hz), 6.00 (t, 1H, J 1.5 Hz), 4.55 (t, 1H, J 5.4 Hz), 1.41-1.80 (m, 2H), 0.78-1.00 (m, 12H), 0.08 (s, 3H), 0.01 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 171.6, 142.9, 127.2, 71.2, 30.3, 29.1, 25.7, 18.1, 9.1, -4.9, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C12H24O3Si [M + H+]: 245.1573. Found: 245.1554.

(±)-3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-2-methylidenenonanoic acid (31): 98% yield; fluid oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2925, 2859, 1691, 1254, 1086, 833, 649; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.37 (s, 1H), 5.92 (s, 1H), 4.51-4.59 (m, 1H), 1.20-1.40 (m, 10H), 0.82-0.93 (m, 12H), 0.08 (s, 3H), 0.02 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3), δ: 170.6, 142.9, 126.9, 71.2, 37.7, 31.7, 29.1, 25.7, 25.0, 22.6, 18.1, 14.1, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C16H32O3Si [M + H+]: 301.2199. Found: 301.2232.

(±)-3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-2-methyleneoctadecanoic acid (32): 99% yield; white solid; mp 45-47 ºC; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2918, 2851, 1681, 1623, 1472, 1090, 838; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.34-6.36 (m, 1H), 5.86-5.88 (m, 1H), 4.53 (t, 1H, J 5.6 Hz), 1.45-1.63 (m, 2H), 1.18-1.39 (m, 26H), 0.83-0.93 (m, 12H), 0.1 (s, 3H), 0.03 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 169.7, 142.5, 126.8, 71.8, 37.6, 31.9, 29.7, 29.64, 29.6, 29.5, 29.5, 29.4, 29.3, 25.8, 25.1, 22.7, 18.1, 14.1, -4.8, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C25H50O3Si [M + H]+: 427.3607. Found: 427.3599.

General procedure for the preparation of α-hydroxyketones (acyloins)

To a stirred 0.2 mol L-1 solution of carboxylic acid in acetone at 0 ºC was added triethylamine (2 equiv.) and ethyl chloroformate (1.5 equiv.). The mixture was stirred at 0 ºC and carbonate formation was observed by TLC after 5 min. After that, NaN3 was added (2.5 equiv.). The resulting mixture was vigorously stirred for 2 h until the formation of a slightly apolar layer (acylazide formation). Then, the crude mixture was diluted in cold dichloromethane and washed with cold water. The organic layer was dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. To this crude material, under an argon atmosphere, dry toluene (0.1 mol L-1) was added and the mixture was refluxed for 2 h. The solvent was then removed under reduced pressure and the resulting product was diluted in water. The mixture was refluxed for 12 h. Then, the reaction mixture was coolled to room temperature and extracted with ethyl acetate. The organic layer was dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue was purified by flash silica gel column chromatography (ethyl acetate:hexanes, up to 25:75) to provide the required acyloins. Yields refer to 3 steps from MBH adducts.

(±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(2-nitrophenyl) propan-2-one (33): 46% yield; pale yellow oil; IR (film)νmax/cm-1: 2953, 2933, 2851, 1728, 1527, 1343, 1254, 1102, 833; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.97-8.03 (m, 1H), 7.58-7.77 (m, 2H), 7.42-7.51 (m, 1H), 5.72 (s, 1H), 2.31 (s, 3H), 0.91 (s, 9H), 0.16 (s, 3H), -0.07 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 205.8, 147.7, 135.0, 133.2, 129.2, 128.8, 124.8, 26.3, 25.6, 18.1, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C15H23O4NSi [M + H+]: 310.1475. Found: 310.1600.

(±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(3-chlorophenyl) propan-2-one (34): 45% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2953, 2929, 2864, 1719, 1470, 1258, 1111, 775; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.43 (s, 1H), 7.23-7.33 (m, 3H), 5.00 (s, 1H), 2.12 (s, 3H), 0.96 (s, 9H), 0.09 (s, 3H), 0.02 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 208.5, 140.7, 134.5, 129.8, 128.2, 125.9, 123.9, 80.6, 25.7, 23.9, 18.2, -4.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C15H23O2ClSi [M + Na+]: 321.1053. Found: 321.1056

(±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-phenylpropan-2-one (35): 50% yield; pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2929, 2855, 1711, 1258, 1102, 865, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.25-7.45 (m, 5H), 5.04 (s, 1H), 2.11 (s, 3H), 0.96 (s, 9H), 0.10 (s, 3H), 0.01 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (125 MHz, CDCl3): δ 209.1, 199.5, 138.6, 128.5, 128.0, 125.8, 81.2, 25.7, 23.9, 18.2, -4.9, -5.2; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C15H24O2Si [M + H+]: 265.1624. Found: 265.1685.

(±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)propan-2-one (36): 48% yield; pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2855, 1715, 1511, 1090, 841, 784; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.30 (d, 2H, J 6.7 Hz), 6.87 (d, 2H, J 6.7 Hz), 4.99 (s, 1H), 3.80 (s, 3H), 2.11 (s, 3H), 0.94 (s, 9H), 0.08 (s, 3H), -0.01 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 209.2, 159.4, 130.7, 127.1, 113.9, 80.8, 55.2, 25.7, 23.8, 18.2, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C16H26O3Si [M + Na+]: 317.1549. Found: 317.1505.

(±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-one (37): 42% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2947, 2853, 1714, 1512, 1089, 843; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.65 (s, 2H), 4.95 (s, 1H), 3.75-3.88 (m, 9H), 2.10 (s, 3H), 0.95 (s, 9H), 0.07 (s, 3H), 0.03 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 208.8, 153.3, 137.5, 134.0, 102.4, 80.9, 60.8, 56.0, 25.7, 23.7, 18.2, -4.9, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C18H30O5Si [M + Na+]: 377.1760. Found: 377.1657.

(±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(thiophen-2-yl) propan-2-one (38): 44% yield; pale yellow oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2949, 2851, 1712, 1091; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.22-7.28 (m, 1H), 6.96-7.01 (m, 2H), 5.24 (s, 1H), 2.20 (s, 3H), 0.95 (s, 9H), 0.10 (s, 3H), 0.05 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 207.7, 153.3, 142.6, 127.1, 125.2, 124.3, 77.8, 25.6, 23.7, 18.2, -5.1, -5.2; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C13H22O2SSi [M + Na+]: 293.1007. Found: 293.0922.

(±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(2-fluorophenyl) propan-2-one (39): 41% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2951, 1720, 1471, 1256, 1109; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.47 (dt, 1H, J 1.8/7.5 Hz), 7.23-7.35 (m, 1H), 7.15 (dt, 1H, J 1.2/7.5 Hz), 7.00-7.09 (m, 1H), 5.34 (s, 1H), 2.18 (s, 3H), 0.92 (s, 9H), 0.11 (s, 3H), -0.05 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 207.1, 159.8 (d, J 245.4 Hz), 129.8 (d, J 8.1 Hz), 128.2 (d, J 3.8 Hz), 126.6 (d, J 14.3 Hz), 124.3 (d, J 3.5 Hz), 115.4 (d, J 21.5 Hz), 74.9, 25.6, 24.9, 18.1, -5.1, -5.2; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C15H23O2FSi [M + Na+]: 305.1349. Found: 305.1284.

(±)-3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]pentan-2-one (40): 46% yield; colorless oil; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 3.90 (dd, 1H, J 5.6/6.5 Hz), 2.13 (s, 3H), 1.50-1.71 (m, 2H), 0.77-0.93 (m, 12H), 0.04 (s, 3H), 0.03 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 212.5, 79.9, 27.8, 25.3, 18.0, 9.1, -5.0, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C11H24O2Si [M + H+]: 217.1624. Found: 217.1608.

(±)-3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]nonan-2-one (41): 42% yield; pale yellow oil; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 3.92-4.03 (m, 1H), 2.15 (s, 3H), 1.18-1.45 (m, 10H), 0.82-1.09 (m, 12H), 0.05 (s, 6H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 212.8, 79.0, 34.8, 31.7, 29.2, 25.7, 25.2, 24.7, 22.6, 18.1, 14.1, -4.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C15H32O2Si [M + Na+]: 295.4887. Found: 295.4849.

(±)-3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]octadecan-2-one (42): 40% yield; colorless viscous oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2926, 2855, 1719, 1465, 1253, 1104; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 3.97 (dd, 1H, J 5.3/6.9 Hz), 2.15 (s, 3H), 1.46-1.55 (m, 2H), 1.17-1.40 (m, 26H), 0.83-0.97 (m, 12H), 0.06 (s, 3H), 0.05 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 212.7, 79.0, 34.8, 31.9, 29.7, 29.64, 29.6, 29.5, 29.4, 29.3, 25.7, 25.2, 24.7, 22.7, 18.1, 14.1, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C24H50O2Si [M + Na+]: 421.3478. Found: 421.3453.

General procedure for the diastereoselective preparation of vicinal alcohols

To a 0.2 mol L-1 methanolic solution of acyloins was added an amine (3 equiv.). The resulting solution was vigorously stirred at room temperature for 1 h. After, the solution was cooled to -78 ºC and LiBH4 (1.2 equiv.) was added. The mixture was then warmed to room temperature and stirred for 12 h. Then, the medium was diluted with ethyl acetate (15 mL) and the organic phase was washed with water (5 × 7 mL), brine (10 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue was purified through silica gel (solvent: hexanes:ethyl acetate, up to 65:35) to provide the corresponding vicinal aminoalcohols, in good yields and in high diastereoselectivities.

(±)-1,2-anti-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(3-chlorophenyl)propan-2-yl](2-phenylethyl)amine (43): 79% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2955, 2929, 2857, 1471, 1254, 1075, 836; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.08-7.32 (m, 9H), 4.55 (d, 1H, J 4.7 Hz), 2.62-2.99 (m, 5H), 0.98 (d, 3H, J 6.4 Hz), 0.86 (s, 9H), -0.003 (s, 3H), -0.20 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 145.1, 139.9, 133.9, 129.2, 128.6, 128.4, 127.3, 126.8, 126.1, 124.8, 77.0, 59.7, 48.6, 36.5, 25.8, 18.1, 14.9, -4.6, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C23H34ClNOSi [M + H+]: 404.2177. Found: 404.1996.

(±)-1,2-anti-Benzyl-[1-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(3-chlorophenyl)propan-2-yl]amine (44): 77% yield; yellowish oil. IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2929, 2857, 1471, 1255, 1075, 836; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.12-7.37 (m, 9H), 4.63 (d, 1H, J 4.8 Hz), 3.82 (d, 1H, J 13.5 Hz), 3.71 (d, 1H, J 13.5 Hz), 2.77 (dq, 1H, J 4.8/6.4 Hz), 1.02 (d, 3H, J 6.4 Hz), 0.89 (s, 9H), 0.05 (s, 3H), -0.16 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 145.2, 140.4, 133.9, 129.2, 128.3, 127.8, 127.3, 127.0, 126.8, 125.0, 77.1, 58.6, 51.0, 25.8, 18.1, 15.1, -4.6, -4.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C22H32ONClSi [M + H+]: 390.2020. Found: 370.1797.

(±)-1,2-anti-{1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]1-phenylpropan-2-yl}(2-phenylethyl)amine (45): 85% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2928, 2857, 1453, 1255, 1063, 836; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.09-7.32 (m, 10H), 4.58 (d, 1H, J 5.0 Hz), 2.61-2.99 (m, 5H), 1.02 (d, 3H, J 6.4 Hz), 0.86 (s, 9H), -0.001 (s, 3H), -0.22 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 142.9, 140.0, 128.6, 128.4, 127.9, 127.1, 126.7, 126.0, 77.6, 59.8, 48.7, 36.6, 25.8, 18.1, 15.1, -4.6, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C23H35ONSi [M + H+]: 370.2566. Found: 370.2747.

(±)-1,2-anti-Benzyl({1-[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-phenylpropan-2-yl})amine (46): 83% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2956, 2929, 2857, 1493, 1254, 1063, 1028, 836; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.12-7.38 (m, 10H), 4.64 (d, 1H, J 5.1 Hz), 3.81 (d, 1H, J 13.5 Hz), 3.72 (d, 1H, J 13.5 Hz), 2.80 (dq, 1H, J5.1/6.4 Hz), 1.05 (d, 3H, J 6.4 Hz), 0.90 (s, 9H), 0.05 (s, 3H), -0.18 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 142.9, 140.6, 128.3, 127.9, 127.8, 127.1, 126.9, 126.7, 77.8, 58.7, 51.0, 25.8, 18.2, 15.4, -4.5, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C22H33ONSi [M + H+]: 356.2410. Found: 356.2561.

(±)-1,2-anti-{1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-phenylpropan-2-yl}(prop-2-en-1-yl)amine (47): 82% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2956, 2929, 2857, 1471, 1255, 1063, 867, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.17-7.42 (m, 5H), 5.73-5.95 (m, 1H), 5.00-5.21 (m, 2H), 4.65 (d, 1H, J 4.8 Hz), 3.12-3.39 (m, 2H), 2.80 (dq, 1H, J 4.8/6.4 Hz), 0.99 (d, 3H, J 6.4 Hz), 0.90 (s, 9H), 0.05 (s, 3H), -0.19 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 142.9, 137.0, 128.3, 127.9, 127.1, 126.7, 115.4, 77.3, 58.9, 49.6, 25.8, 18.2, 14.9, -4.5, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C18H31ONSi [M + H+]: 306.2253. Found: 306.2394.

(±)-1,2-anti-N-{1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-phenylpropan-2-yl}cyclohexanamine (48): 80% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2928, 2855, 1451, 1255, 1066, 862, 836; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.15-7.40 (m, 5H), 4.61 (d, 1H, J 4.7 Hz), 2.89 (dq, 1H, J4.7/6.3 Hz), 2.41-2.60 (m, 1H), 1.50-1.92 (m, 6H), 1.09-1.35 (m, 4H), 0.97 (d, 3H, J 6.3 Hz), 0.90 (s, 9H), 0.04 (s, 3H), -0.20 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 143.3, 127.8, 127.0, 77.5, 55.8, 52.9, 34.1, 33.1, 26.2, 25.6, 25.0, 24.9, 18.2, 15.5, -4.5, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C21H37ONSi [M + H+]: 348.2723. Found: 348.2834.

(±)-1,2-anti-{1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-yl}(2-phenylethyl) amine (49): 81% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2933, 1592, 1455, 1321, 1128, 836, 776; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.05-7.27 (m, 5H), 6.48 (s, 2H), 4.45 (d, 1H, J 5.4 Hz), 3.84 (s, 3H), 3.81 (s, 6H), 2.62-3.00 (m, 5H), 1.05 (d, 3H, J 6.1 Hz), 0.86 (s, 9H), 0.01 (s, 3H), -0.19 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 152.8, 139.8, 138.6, 136.8, 128.5, 128.4, 126.1, 103.4, 77.9, 60.9, 59.9, 56.0, 48.6, 36.4, 25.8, 18.1, 15.3, -4.5, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C26H41O4NSi [M + H+]: 460.2805. Found: 460.2871.

(±)-1,2-anti-{1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)propan-2-yl}(prop-2-en-1-yl)amine (50): 80% yield; colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2930, 2857, 1592, 1420, 1330, 1130, 869, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 6.54 (s, 2H), 5.75-5.92 (m, 1H), 5.01-5.17 (m, 2H), 4.55 (d, 1H, J 5.0 Hz), 3.84 (s, 9H), 3.10-3.37 (m, 2H), 2.80 (dq, 1H, J 5.0/6.3 Hz), 1.03 (d, 3H, J 6.3 Hz), 0.91 (s, 9H), 0.06 (s, 3H), -0.14 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 152.8, 138.7, 136.9, 136.8, 115.4, 103.4, 77.6, 60.9, 59.0, 56.0, 49.6, 25.8, 18.2, 15.1, -4.5, -5.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C21H37O4NSi [M + H+]: 396.2570. Found: 396.2693.

(±)-1,2-anti-{1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(thiophen-2-yl)propan-2-yl}(2-phenylethyl)amine (51): 82% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2955, 2929, 2857, 1471, 1253, 1075, 836; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.09-7.27 (m, 6H), 6.80-6.93 (m, 2H), 4.76 (d, J 5.6 Hz, 1H), 2.63-2.99 (m, 5H), 1.08 (d, 3H, J 6.3 Hz), 0.85 (s, 9H), 0.02 (s, 3H), -0.15 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 146.9, 140.0, 128.6, 128.4, 126.002, 126.0, 124.5, 124.3, 74.7, 60.1, 48.7, 36.5, 25.7, 18.1, 15.9, -4.6, -5.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C21H33ONSSi [M + H+]: 376.2130. Found: 376.2141.

(±)-1,2-anti-{1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(2-fluorophenyl)propan-2-yl}(2-phenylethyl)amine (52): 78% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2857, 1486, 1254, 1033, 837; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.43 (dt, 1H, J1 1.8, J2 7.5 Hz), 7.05-7.35 (m, 8H), 6.90-7.01 (m, 1H), 5.07 (d, 1H, J 3.9 Hz), 2.62-2.99 (m, 5H), 0.97 (d, 3H, J 6.5 Hz), 0.87 (s, 9H), 0.02 (s, 3H), 0.01 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 159.4 (d, J 242.8 Hz), 140.2, 130.0 (d, J 13.3 Hz), 128.8 (m, C-Ar), 128.4 (m, C-Ar), 126.0, 123.7 (d, J 3.4 Hz), 114.8 (d, J 22.0 Hz), 70.0, 58.3, 48.7, 36.7, 25.8, 18.1, 14.8, -4.8, -5.2; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C23H34ONFSi [M + H+]: 388.2472. Found: 388.2512.

(±)-1,2-anti-{3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]pentan2-yl}(2-phenylethyl)amine (53): 73% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2958, 2930, 2857, 1470, 1254, 1007, 835; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.12-7.37 (m, 5H), 3.49-3.60 (m, 1H), 2.60-2.99 (m, 5H), 1.38-1.52 (m, 2H), 0.98 (d, 3H, J 6.5 Hz), 0.78-0.90 (m, 12H), 0.03 (s, 3H), -0.01 (s, 3H); 13C RMN (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 140.2, 128.7, 128.4, 126.1, 76.6, 56.9, 49.3, 36.9, 25.8, 25.3, 18.0, 15.0, 10.4, -4.4, -4.5; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C19H35ONSi [M + H+]: 322.2566. Found: 322.2550.

(±)-1,2-anti-{3-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]pentan-2-yl}(decyl)amine (54): 71% yield; yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2958, 2928, 2855, 1463, 1254, 836; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 3.50-3.61 (m, 1H), 2.54-2.71 (m, 2H), 2.38-2.51 (m, 1H), 1.38-1.60 (m, 6H), 1.26 (br, 16H), 0.96 (d, 3H, J 6.5 Hz), 0.81-0.91 (m, 12H), 0.05 (s, 6H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 76.6, 56.9, 47.8, 31.9, 30.4, 29.6, 29.5, 29.3, 27.5, 25.8, 25.2, 22.6, 18.1, 15.1, 14.1, 10.5, -4.4, -4.42; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C21H47NOSi[M + H+]: 358.3505. Found: 358.3428.

Synthesis of (±)-1-[(tert-Butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]-1-(3-chlorophenyl)propan-2-ol (60)

To a solution of acyloin 34 (170 mg, 0.57 mmol) in anhydrous methanol (10 mL), under argon atmosphere and at 0 ºC was added NaBH4 (108.3 mg, 2.85 mmol). The resulting mixture was stirred for 10 min, after that 1 mL of water was added and the solvent was removed under reduced pressure. The residue was diluted with ethyl acetate (15 mL) and the organic phase was washed with brine (5 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum to provide the alcohol 60, in almost quantitative yield. Thus, it was used to the next step without purification. Colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3448, 2949, 2933, 2851, 1462, 1254, 1070, 833, 775; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ (mixture of diastereomers) 7.12-7.35 (m, 6H), 4.52 (d, J 4.7 Hz, Ha'), 4.28 (d, J 6.5 Hz, Ha), 3.80 (q, J 4.7 Hz, Hb'), 3.70 (q, J 6.5 Hz, Hb), 2.36 (s, 1H), 1.06 (d3H,, J 6.5 Hz, CH3'), 1.00, (d, 3H, J 6.5 Hz, CH3), 0.89 (s, 9H), 0.05 (s, 3H), -0.12 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (75.4 MHz, CDCl3): δ (diastereomeric mixture) 143.7, 143.3, 134.1, 133.9, 129.5, 129.3, 127.9, 127.7, 127.1, 125.2, 125.1, 80.0, 78.2, 72.4, 71.9, 25.8, 18.2, 18.1, 17.9, 17.6, -4.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C15H25ClO2Si [M + H+]: 301.1391. Found: 301.1577.

Synthesis of (±)-1-(3-chlorophenyl)propane-1,2-diol (61)

To a solution of alcohol (±)-60 (100 mg, 0.34 mmol) in THF (6 mL) at 0º C was added a solution of TBAF (0.41 mL, 1 mol L-1 in toluene). The mixture was stirred for 5 min and was warmed to room temperature. After 2 h, a mixture of water (5 mL) and ethyl acetate (15 mL) was added to the reaction medium. The organic phase was separated, washed with brine (5 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue was filtered through silica gel (solvent: ethyl acetate) to provide the diol (±)-61, in 97% yield. Colorless oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3395, 2978, 2876, 1569, 1426, 1082, 1037, 780, 694; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ (diastereomeric mixture) 7.16-7.39 (m, 6H), 4.67 (d, J 4.0 Hz, Ha'), 4.33 (d, J 7.1 Hz, Ha), 3.92-4.07 (m, Hb'), 3.81 (q, J 7.1 Hz, Hb), 2.62 (s, 3H, OH), 1.00-1.13 (m, 5H, CH3); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ (diastereomeric mixture) 143.1, 142.4, 134.4, 129.7, 129.5, 128.2, 127.8, 127.0, 126.7, 125.1, 124.8, 78.6, 77.2, 71.9, 71.0, 18.7, 16.9; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C9H11O2Cl [M + Na+]: 209.6252. Found: 209.6223.

Synthesis of (±)-1-(3-chlorophenyl)-2-hydroxypropan-1-one (59)

To a solution of diol (±)-61 (70 mg, 0.38 mmol) in DMSO (1 mL) was slowly added 45% IBX (236.4 mg, 0.38 mmol) at room temperature. Caution: addition time 15 h, faster addition will give a diketone product. The mixture was stirred for 30 h. After that, the reaction medium was diluted with water (5 mL) and ethyl acetate (15 mL). The organic phase was separated, washed with brine (5 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue was purified by silica gel column chromatography (solvent: hexanes:ethyl acetate, up to 60:40) to provide the acyloin (±)-59, in 85% yield. Yellowish oil; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3436, 2982, 2921, 2843, 1687, 1569, 1262, 1123, 1070, 1033, 739; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.91 (s, 1H), 7.77-7.82 (m, 1H), 7.57-7.62 (m, 1H), 7.46 (t, 1H, J 7.9 Hz), 5.12 (q, 1H, J 7.0 Hz, CH), 1.45 (d, 3H, J 7.0 Hz, CH3); 13C NMR (75.4 MHz, CDCl3): δ 201.3, 135.3, 134.9, 133.9, 130.2, 128.7, 126.6, 77.2, 69.5, 22.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C9H9O2Cl [M + Na+]: 207.6093. Found: 207.6075.

Synthesis of (±)-2-(tert-butylamino)-1-(3-chlorophenyl) propan-1-one (bupropion) (1)

To a solution of acyloin (±)-59 (30 mg, 0.16 mmol) in 3 mL of anhydrous CH2Cl2, at -78 ˚C, was added triflic anhydride (50 mg, 0.177 mmol, 29.81 µL) and 2,6-lutidine (26 mg, 0.24 mmol, 28.26 µL). The resulting mixture was cooled to -40 ºC and stirred for 30 min. After that, the organic phase was washed with brine (5 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under vacuum. The residue was immediately dissolved in dry CH2Cl2 and the solution was cooled to -40 ºC. Then tert-butylamine (29.6 mg, 0.41 mmol, 42.5 µL) was added. The mixture was stirred for 2 h at -40 ºC, warmed to 0 ºC and kept at this final temperature for 12 h. After, the reaction medium was diluted with dichloromethane (10 mL). The organic phase was separated, washed with sodium bicarbonate (5 mL), water (5 mL), brine (5 mL), dried over anhydrous Na2SO4 and the solvent was removed under reduced pressure. The residue was purified through silica gel (solvent: hexanes:ethyl acetate, up to 60:40) to provide (±)-1 as a white solid, in 75% yield; mp 233-234 ºC (as hydrochloride;41 233-234 ºC); 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.83-7.90 (m, 1H), 8.03-8.11 (m, 1H), 7.97-7.99 (m, 1H), 6.11 (q, 1H, J 7.0 Hz, CH), 4.65 (s, 1H, NH), 1.67 (t, 3H, J 7.0 Hz, CH3), 1.44 (s, 9H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 195.7, 136.0, 135.2, 133.5, 130.1, 128.6, 126.5, 71.9, 58.1, 30.3, 17.0; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C13H18OClN [M + Na+]: 262.7309. Found: 262.7299.

Synthesis of (±) -1,2 -anti-benzyl({3 -[(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)oxy]octadecan-2-yl})amine (62)

To a stirred mixture of acyloin (±)-42 (0.2 g, 0.502 mmol) and molecular sieves (4 Å) in anhydrous dichloromethane (3 mL), under an argon atmosphere, was added distilled benzylamine (0.268 g, 0.27 mL, 2.51 mmol). The resulting mixture was kept at 40 ºC for 7 h. Then, the reaction was cooled to 0 ºC and NaBH3CN (0.038 g, 0.6 mmol) was added in three small portions at 40 min. intervals. The reaction was warmed to room temperature and stirred for 12 h. The solvent was removed under reduced pressure and the residue was dissolved with ethyl acetate. The organic phase was filtered, washed with distilled water (3 × 10 mL), brine (15 mL), dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and evaporated. The crude residue was purified by silica gel column chromatography (ethyl acetate:hexane, 25:75) to provide anti aminoalcohol 62 (0.19 g), as a viscous colorless oil, in 70% yield; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 2925, 2854, 1463, 1254, 1030; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 7.22-7.32 (m, 5H), 3.89 (d, 1H, J 13.2 Hz), 3.67 (d, 1H, J 13.2 Hz), 3.54 (q, 1H, J 4.6 Hz), 2.69 (q, 1H, J 6.0 Hz), 1.32-1.48 (m, 2H), 1.17-1.35 (m, 26H), 1.02 (d, 3H, J 6.5 Hz), 0.82-0.92 (m, 12H), 0.04 (s, 3H), -0.02 (s, 3H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 140.6, 128.3, 128.14, 128.1, 126.8, 75.4, 56.3, 51.5, 32.1, 31.9, 29.8, 29.7, 29.65, 29.6, 29.4, 26.1, 25.9, 22.7, 18.1, 15.2, 14.1, -4.3, -4.4; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C31H59NOSi [M + H]+: 490.4439. Found: 490.4434.

Synthesis of (±)-1,2-anti-[(2-aminooctadecan-3-yl)oxy] (tert-butyl)dimethylsilane (63)

To a stirred solution of aminoalcohol (±)-62 (0.025 g, 0.05 mmol) in a mixture of dichloromethane (1.5 mL) and acetic acid (1.0 mL) was added 10% Pd/C (0.006 g). The resulting suspension was purged twice with hydrogen gas and kept under a hydrogen atmosphere. Then, the reaction was warmed at 50 ºC and stirred for 20 h under hydrogen atmosphere. After that time, the reaction mixture was diluted with dichloromethane (10 mL) and the organic phase was washed with a saturated solution of NaHCO3 (8 mL), dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and evaporated. The crude residue was filtered over a plug of silica gel (dichloromethane:methanol, 97:3, as eluent) to provide silylated aminoalcohol (±)-63 (0.018 g), as a viscous colorless oil, in 90% yield; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3409, 2926, 2855, 1682, 1465, 1255, 1084; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 3.45-3.60 (m, 1H), 2.85-2.99 (m, 1H), 1.10-1.45 (m, 28H), 1.01 (d, 3H, J 6.6 Hz), 0.80-0.91 (m, 12H), 0.0-0.10 (m, 6H); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 77.2, 56.3, 50.8, 31.9, 31.6, 29.8, 29.7, 29.6, 29.3, 25.9, 25.7, 22.7, 18.1, 17.9, 14.1, -4.3, -4.4; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C24H53NOSi [M + H]+: 400.3964. Found: 400.3960.

Synthesis of (±)-1,2-anti-2-aminooctadecan-3-ol (spisulosine) (2)

To a stirred solution of aminoalcohol (±)-63 (0.01 g,0.025 mmol) in a mixture of dichloromethane (0.5 mL) and methanol (0.5 mL) was added a solution of concentrated hydrochloric acid (0.1 mL). The resulting mixture was warmed to 50 ºC and stirred for 20 h. Then, the solvents were removed under reduced pressure and the residue was dissolved in dichloromethane (5 mL). To the stirred organic phase was added a saturated sodium bicarbonate solution (5 mL) and the resulting mixture was vigorously stirred for 30 min. The organic phase was separated, dried over anhydrous sodium sulfate and removed under reduced pressure. The crude residue was filtered over a plug of Florisil® to provide (±)-spisulosine (1, 7 mg), as a white solid, in 98% yield; mp 58-59 ºC; IR (film) νmax/cm-1: 3348, 3297, 2955, 2919, 2851, 1607, 1471; 1H NMR (250 MHz, CDCl3): δ 3.39-3.47 (m, 1H), 2.88-3.06 (m, 1H), 1.64-1.88 (bs, 3H), 1.20-1.40 (m, 28H), 1.01 (d, 3H, J 6.5 Hz), 0.88 (t, 3H, J 7.0 Hz); 13C NMR (62.5 MHz, CDCl3): δ 74.7, 50.3, 32.4, 31.9, 29.8, 29.7, 29.6, 29.3, 26.2, 22.7, 16.8, 14.1; HRMS (ESI TOF) Calcd. for C18H40NO [M + H]+: 286.3110; Found 286.3088.

 

Supplementary Information

All the spectra of the synthesized compounds in this paper are available as supplementary file and are free of charge at http/jbcs.sbq.org.br as pdf file.

 

Acknowledgments

Authors thank Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) for financial support. G. W. A. and M. C. thank FAPESP for fellowships. The authors are grateful to Prof. C. H. Collins for English revision of this text.

 

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Submitted: February 8, 2011
Published online: May 17, 2011
FAPESP has sponsored the publication of this article.

 

 

* e-mail: coelho@iqm.unicamp.br

 

 

Supplementary Information

General

The 1H and 13C spectra were recorded on Bruker at 250 MHz and 62.5 MHz respectively. The 1H and 13C spectra were also recorded on Inova instrument at 500 MHz and 125 MHz, respectively. The high resolution mass spectra were recorded using a Q-TOF Micromass equipment (Waters, UK).

 


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