Catalytic enantioselective methods that are general over a broad range of substrates facilitate application in synthetic discovery and development settings; however, truly general catalysts for asymmetric synthesis are rare. Herein, we report a strategy for the oxidative desymmetrization of meso-1,4 diols predicated on a non-traditional optimization protocol utilizing a panel of screening substrates rather than a singular model substrate. Critical to this approach was rational modulation of a peptide sequence incorporating a novel, aminoxyl-based catalytic residue. A general catalyst emerged, providing high selectivity in delivery of enantioenriched lactones across a broad range of diols.
Typo corrected in author list.