Redox deracemization of β,γ-alkynyl α-amino esters†
The first non-enzymatic redox deracemization method using molecular oxygen as the terminal oxidant has been described. The one-pot deracemization of β,γ-alkynyl α-amino esters consisted of a copper-catalyzed aerobic oxidation and chiral phosphoric acid-catalyzed asymmetric transfer hydrogenation with excellent functional group compatibility. By using benzothiazoline as the reducing reagent, an exclusive chemoselectivity at the CN bond over the CC bond was achieved, allowing for efficient deracemization of a series of α-amino esters bearing diverse α-alkynyl substituent patterns. The origins of chemo- and enantio-selectivities were elucidated by experimental and computational mechanistic investigation. The generality of the strategy is further demonstrated by efficient deracemization of β,γ-alkenyl α-amino esters.