Catalytic, Transannular Carbonyl-Olefin Metathesis Reactions

A new class of Lewis acid-catalyzed carbonyl-olefin metathesis reactions is described that complements existing protocols for related ring-closing, ring-opening, and intermolecular transformations. These transannular carbonyl-olefin metathesis reactions rely on FeCl3 as an inexpensive Lewis acid catalyst and are mechanistically distinct from previously developed protocols for ring closing, ring-opening and intermolecular metathesis. Specifically, carbonyl-ene and carbonyl-olefin metathesis reaction paths are competing to ultimately favor metathesis as the thermodynamic product. Importantly, we show that distinct Lewis acid catalysts are able to differentiate between these pathways to enable the selective formation of transannular carbonyl-ene or carbonyl-olefin metathesis products thus providing a valuable approach to the molecular editing of naturally occurring complex molecules. Additionally, these results are expected to enable further advances in catalyst design for carbonyl-olefin metathesis to ultimately develop efficient and high-yielding catalytic carbonyl olefination reactions.