Arylboronic Acids in Self-condensation of Glucosamines Forming Deoxyfructosazine, Catalysts or Reagents?

Arylboronic acids were widely used as efficient catalysts in direct amide formation and other organic transformations. Surprisingly, reports on their use as catalysts in carbohydrates synthesis are very rare even though boron acid-diol complexation was extensively investigated in molecular recognition for saccharides and so on. Here we developed an efficient arylboronic acids catalyzed dimerization of glucosamines forming deoxyfructosazine which is important compound in pharmaceutical and food industries, against a commonly held belief that excess amount of phenyl boronic acid (or boric acid) is a must. A catalytic mechanism was also proposed and arylboronic acids instead of their boronates was identified as catalysts.