Fluoride Migration Catalysis Enables Simple, Stereoselective, and Iterative Glycosylation

Challenges in the assembly of glycosidic bonds pose a bottleneck in enabling the remarkable promise of advances in the glycosciences. We report a strategy that applies unique features of electrophilic boron catalysts in addressing current limitations of methods in glycoside synthesis. The strategy utilizes glycosyl fluoride donors and silyl ether acceptors while tolerating the Lewis basic environment found in carbohydrates. The method allows a simple setup at room temperature while utilizing catalyst loadings as low as 0.5 mol %, and air- and moisture stable forms of the catalyst are found to be effective. These characteristics enable a wide array of glycosylation patterns to be accessed, including all four C1-C2 stereorelationships, and the method allows one-pot, iterative glycosylations to generate oligosaccharides directly from monosaccharide building blocks.