The term organocatalysis describes the acceleration of chemical reactions through the addition of a substoichiometric quantity of an organic compound. The interest in this field has increased spectacularly in the last few years as result of both the novelty of the concept and, more importantly, the fact that the efficiency and selectivity of many organocatalytic reactions meet the standards of established organic reactions. Organocatalytic reactions are becoming powerful tools in the construction of complex molecular skeletons.[1,2]
 Special issue of Adv. Synth. Catal. 2004, 346, Nr. 9-10.
A good combination: The high Brønsted acidity and electrophilic character of Meldrum's acid derivatives have advantageously been exploited by dedicated organocatalysts to use this cyclic architecture as a very useful building block for the elaboration of enantioenriched compounds; as highlighted in this Minireview.
Etienne Pair, Timothée Cadart, Vincent Levacher, Jean-François Brière
ChemCatChem, May 20, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/cctc.201600247. Read article
Imines Business: An efficient, catalytic, and scalable method for the direct N-acylation of sulfoximines with readily available N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC)-catalysts and aldehydes that affords various functionalized N-acylsulfoximines in good-to-excellent yields has been developed.
Arka Porey, Surojit Santra, Joyram Guin
Asian J. Org. Chem., May 19, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ajoc.201600163. Read article
Expanding the scope: Spiro and fused indoles are attractive heterocyclic compounds with broad and promising activities in various therapeutic fields, and thus, have become the synthetic targets of organic chemists. This account describes recent progress in the synthesis of a series of spiro and fused indoles with diverse skeletons through N-heterocyclic carbene (NHC)-catalyzed annulations of enals, α-bromoenals, or ynals.
Weifang Tang, Ding Du
The Chemical Record, May 17, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/tcr.201600018. Read article
High-resolution chemistry: The first catalytic asymmetric aminolysis of azlactones was established, enabling the highly enantioselective dynamic kinetic resolution of azlactones, which is an efficient method for synthesizing optically pure bisamides in high yields with excellent enantioselectivities (up to 99 % yield, 99 % ee).
Yu-Chen Zhang, Qin Yang, Xue Yang, Qiu-Ning Zhu, Feng Shi
Asian J. Org. Chem., May 11, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ajoc.201600185. Read article
James P. Phelan, Jonathan A. Ellman
Adv. Synth. Catal., May 3, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/adsc.201600110. Read article.
Juan V. Alegre-Requena, Eugenia Marqués-López, Raquel P. Herrera
Adv. Synth. Catal., May 3, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/adsc.201600046. Read article.
Three atropisomeric phosphoric acids for organocatalysis were obtained by a single Suzuki coupling reaction, and resolved by HPLC. All three catalysts could be used to promote organocatalytic reactions, rendering up to excellent enantioselectivity (98 % ee), confirming the potential of atropisomeric conformational control at the 3,3'-position of the BINOL core to infuence catalyst performance.
Luca Bernardi, Giada Bolzoni, Mariafrancesca Fochi, Michele Mancinelli, Andrea Mazzanti
Eur. J. Org. Chem., May 2, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201600296. Read article.
The intramolecular reactivity of an ambident nucleophile with an ambident electrophile is controlled so as to give distinct products from a simple precursor. In particular, the sequential calcium-catalyzed/organocatalyzed condensation pathway leads to synthetically useful 3-vinylcyclopentenones.
Sara P. Morcillo, Marc Presset, Sébastien Floquet, Vincent Coeffard, Christine Greck, Christophe Bour, Vincent Gandon
Eur. J. Org. Chem., April 28, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201600394. Read article.
This review demonstrates the catalytic efficiency of primary β-amino alcohols and their derivatives in organocatalysis. These simple amino alcohols are inexpensive alternatives to other primary amino organocatalysts, being easy to synthesize and air-stable and offering the potential for introduction of different functional groups and alteration of steric sites.
Ummareddy Venkata Subba Reddy, Madhu Chennapuram, Chigusa Seki, Eunsang Kwon, Yuko Okuyama, Hiroto Nakano
Eur. J. Org. Chem., April 26, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201600164. Read article.
I spi with my little tri: An asymmetric organocatalytic arylideneacetone–olefin [4+2] cycloaddition reaction of arylideneacetones and 1,3-indandione with different aldehydes in ambient conditions is described. The reaction yielded optically pure spirotriones, which were further converted into medicinally useful spiromentins by the Suzuki reaction.
Dhevalapally B. Ramachary, Patoju M. Krishna
Asian J. Org. Chem., April 21, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/ajoc.201600145. Read article
All roads lead…to carbenium ions! Taking advantage of suggestions inserted in Mayr's table of reactivity, we have explored the use and generation of tailored carbenium ions for many purposes. In this account, we will illustrate the advantage in using carbenium ions for developing different research fields, from quantum cellular automata to stereoselective SN1 type reactions.
Andrea Gualandi, Luca Mengozzi, Elisabetta Manoni, Pier Giorgio Cozzi
The Chemical Record, April 09, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/tcr.201500299. Read article
Organocatalysts have been successfully used for C(sp3)–H functionalization reactions including redox-neutral processes. In this account, we present a tentative summary of organo- and organometallic-catalytic internal redox cascade reactions with respect to the mechanism, the reactivity of hydrogen donors and acceptors, and the migration modes of hydrogen.
Su Jin Kwon, Dae Young Kim
The Chemical Record, April 07, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/tcr.201600003. Read article
Electron-deficient tertiary enamines such as N,N-disubstituted enamines and enaminoesters are stable molecules containing multiple reaction sites, and are highly useful building blocks in organic synthesis. Recent advances in domino reactions designed by using combinatorial transformations on the chemical bonds of these enamines are summarized.
Jie-Ping Wan, Yong Gao
The Chemical Record, April 05, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/tcr.201500296. Read article
Statistical styrenic-type copoly(ionic liquid)s based on imidazolium units and featuring weakly basic acetate counter-anions behave as thermally latent and recyclable precursors of polymer-supported N-heterocyclic carbenes for the purpose of organocatalysis.
Romain Lambert, Paul Coupillaud, Anne-Laure Wirotius, Joan Vignolle, Daniel Taton
Macromol. Rapid Commun., March 18, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/marc.201600019. Read article
Drop the base: A novel catalytic system based on a readily available phosphine oxide precatalyst for base-free catalytic Wittig reactions has been developed (see scheme). Under the optimized reaction conditions, numerous functionalized alkenes were prepared in yields up to 99 % and with good to excellent E/Z selectivities.
Marie-Luis Schirmer, Sven Adomeit, Anke Spannenberg, Thomas Werner
Chem. Eur. J., January 13, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201503744. Read article.
An innovative and flexible methodology catalyzed by bifunctional chiral thioureas was developed to react β-nitro oxindoles with aldehydes (see scheme). This approach allows the first enantioselective synthesis of 3-spiro-α-alkylidene-γ-butyrolactone oxindoles 3 with the aim of merging two potentially bioactive structural motifs: the spirooxindole and the α-alkylidene-γ-butyrolactone.
Lucia Cerisoli, Marco Lombardo, Claudio Trombini, Arianna Quintavalla
Chem. Eur. J., January 7, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201504157. Read article.
Against the elements: A family of chiral triazoles has been introduced as innovative C-H bond-based hydrogen donors for anion-binding catalysis. Contrary to the believed inefficiency of the low polarized C-H bonds for promoting organocatalysis, these structures proved to be competitive with respect to the more established N-H-type hydrogen donors in enantioselective Reissert-type reactions.
Mercedes Zurro, Sören Asmus, Julia Bamberger, Stephan Beckendorf, Olga García Mancheño
Chem. Eur. J., January 7, 2016, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201504094. Read article.
Utility of acetaldehyde: Acetaldehyde has recently received a great deal of attention as the simplest enolizable carbonyl compound because of its versatile applications in the synthesis of poly(vinyl alcohol), unnatural amino acids, and medicine (see graphic). This Minireview summarizes a methodologically diverse approach to the synthesis of target molecules by outlining a diverse array of reactions such as aldol, Mannich, Michael, and NHC-catalyzed reactions.
Sun Min Kim, Young Sug Kim, Dong Wan Kim, Ramon Rios, Jung Woon Yang
Chem. Eur. J., December 15, 2015, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201503960. Read article.
One carbon better: N-Heterocyclic olefins, the alkylidene derivatives of the prevalent N-heterocyclic carbenes, have recently emerged as efficient promoters for CO2 fixation and polymerization reactions. Their extraordinarily strong Lewis/Brønsted basicity suggests great potential as a new class of organocatalysts for a broad range of reactions in synthetic chemistry.
Reece D. Crocker, Thanh V. Nguyen
Chem. Eur. J., November 26, 2015, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201503575. Read article.
Douglass F. Taber
Isr. J. Chem., April 15, 2015, DOI: 10.1002/ijch.201500006. Read article