One-pot construction of functionalized aziridines and maleimides via a novel pseudo-Knoevenagel cascade reaction†
An Ugi, novel pseudo-Knoevenagel, ring expansion cascade reaction was discovered and utilized for the synthesis of aziridinyl succinimides in one-pot. Subsequently, densely functionalized aziridines and maleimides have been designed and synthesized through similar cascade reactions. The target compounds were prepared by means of a mild reaction and a simple operation procedure, which could be applicable to a broad scope of starting materials. This series of novel cascade reactions generates opportunities for the tailored synthesis of a wide range of biologically active scaffolds through tuneable Ugi inputs. Discovery of compound 8i with comparable potency to sorafenib in liver cancer cell lines could provide a new avenue for liver cancer drug discovery.