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Catalyst-Directed Diastereoselective Isomerization of Allylic Alcohols for the Stereoselective Construction of C(20) in Steroid Side Chains: Scope and Topological Diversification

Li, Houhua, Mazet, Clément
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015 v.137 no.33 pp. 10720-10727
alcohols, isomerization, medical sciences, stereochemistry, topology
The stereoselective construction of C20 in steroidal derivatives by a highly diastereoselective Ir-catalyzed isomerization of primary allylic alcohols is reported. A key aspect of this strategy is a straightforward access to geometrically pure steroidal enol tosylate and enol triflate intermediates for subsequent high yielding stereoretentive Negishi cross-coupling reactions to allow structural diversity to be introduced. A range of allylic alcohols participates in the diastereoselective isomerization under the optimized reaction conditions. Electron-rich and electron-poor aryl or heteroaryl substituents are particularly well-tolerated, and the stereospecific nature of the reaction provides indifferently access to the natural C20-(R) and unnatural C20-(S) configurations. Alkyl containing substrates are more challenging as they affect regioselectivity of iridium-hydride insertion. A rationale for the high diastereoselectivities observed is proposed for aryl containing precursors. The scope of our method is further highlighted through topological diversification in the side chain and within the polycyclic domain of advanced and complex steroidal architectures. These findings have the potential to greatly simplify access to epimeric structural analogues of important steroid scaffolds for applications in biological, pharmaceutical, and medical sciences.