Gold-Catalyzed Spirocyclization Reactions of N-Propargyl Tryptamines and Tryptophans in Aqueous Media

N-Propargyl tryptamine and tryptophan derivatives that are readily available from both synthetic and biocatalytic approaches, undergo gold-catalyzed dearomative cyclizations in aqueous media to the corresponding spirocyclic derivatives. In addition to the efficiency of the method, operating in aqueous media affords a selective entry to C2-unsubstituted spiroindolenines that have long remained unattainable by Au(I)-catalysis. Moderate to excellent yields of the desired spirocyclic products bearing various substituents were obtained.