Stereospecific, Pyrylium Salt-Catalyzed O-Glycosylations of Phenols and Alkyl Alcohols

10 November 2021, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Despite many years of invention, the field of carbohydrate chemistry remains rather inaccessible to non-specialists, which limits the scientific impact and reach of the discoveries made in the field. Aiming to increase the availability of stereoselective glycosylation chemistry for non-specialists, we have discovered that several commercially available pyrylium salts catalyze stereospecific O-glycosylations of a wide range of phenols and alkyl alcohols. This catalytic reaction utilizes trichloroacetimidates, an easily accessible and synthetically proven electrophile, takes place under air and only initiates when all three reagents are mixed, which should provide better reproducibility by non-specialists. The reaction is stereospecific, resulting in β-specific glycosylations from α-trichloroacetimidates, whilst an α-selective glycosylation proceeds from β-trichloroacetimidates. A mechanistic study revealed that the reaction likely proceeds via an SN2-like substitution on the protonated electrophile.



Supplementary materials

Supporting Information
Experimental procedures, spectral data and mechanistic data.


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