Formal synthesis of mycothiol has been developed via nickel-catalyzed α-glycosylation of the C(1)-hydroxyl group of D-myo-inositols with C(2)-N-substituted benzylideneamino N-phenyl trifluoroacetimidate donors. The pseudo-oligosaccharides were obtained in good yield and with excellent α-selectivity. Removal of the C(2)-N-2-trifluoromethylphenyl-benzylidene group under mild conditions provides a pseudo-disaccharide, completing the formal synthesis of mycothiol.
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