The congested nature of quaternary carbons hinders their preparation, most notably when stereocontrol is required. Here we report a biocatalytic method for the creation of quaternary carbon centers with broad substrate scope, leading to different compound classes bearing this structural feature. The key step comprises the aldol addition of 3,3-disubstituted 2-oxoacids to aldehydes catalyzed by metal dependent 3-methyl-2-oxobutanoate hydroxymethyltransferase from E. coli (KPHMT) and variants thereof. The 3,3,3-trisubstituted 2-oxoacids thus produced were converted into 2-oxolactones and 3-hydroxy acids and directly to ulosonic acid derivatives, all bearing gem-dialkyl, gem-cycloalkyl, and spirocyclic quaternary centers. In addition, some of these reactions use a single enantiomer from racemic nucleophiles to afford stereopure quaternary carbons. The notable substrate tolerance and stereocontrol of these enzymes are indicative of their potential for the synthesis of structurally intricate molecules.
Publication type: Journal
Journal: Journal of the American Chemical Society
Citation: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 142(46):19754-19762
Date Published: 18th Nov 2020
Registered Mode: by DOI
Created: 26th Nov 2020 at 07:02
Last updated: 26th Nov 2020 at 07:04