Reactions between substituted maleic anhydrides, viz. 1, and sodium dimethyl phosphite in refluxing benzene are shown to lead to the corresponding furan-2(5H)-one phosphonates 2 and 8. Wadsworth–Emmons olefination reactions involving 2 and heteroarylaldehydes and arylbenzoyl formates 14 then provides a new synthesis of heterocyclic analogues of pulvinones, i.e.10–13, and of permethylated pulvinic acids, e.g.16–17 which are found in higher fungi.
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Journal of the Chemical Society, Perkin Transactions 1
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