Unnatural α-amino acids are invaluable building blocks in synthetic organic chemistry and could upgrade the function of peptides. We developed a new mode for catalytic activation of amino acid Schiff bases, serving as a platform for highly congested unnatural α-amino acid synthesis. The redox active copper catalyst enabled efficient cross-coupling to construct contiguous tetrasubstituted carbon centers. The broad functional group compatibility highlights the mildness of the present catalysis. Notably, we achieved successive β-functionalization and oxidation of amino acid Schiff bases to afford dehydroalanine derivatives bearing tetrasubstituted carbon. A three-component cross-coupling reaction of an amino acid Schiff base, alkyl bromides, and styrene derivatives demonstrated the high utility of the present method. The diastereoselective reaction was also achieved using menthol derivatives as a chiral auxiliary, delivering enantiomerically enriched α-amino acid bearing α,β-continuous tetrasubstituted carbon. The synthesized highly congested unnatural α-amino acid could be derivatized and incorporated into peptide synthesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry