Catalytic functionalization of indoles in a new dimension

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2009;48(51):9608-44. doi: 10.1002/anie.200901843.


140 years ago Adolf von Baeyer proposed the structure of a heteroaromatic compound which revolutionized organic and medical chemistry: indole. After more than a century, indole itself and the complexity of naturally occurring indole derivatives continue to inspire and influence developments in synthetic chemistry. In particular, the ubiquitous presence of indole rings in pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and functional materials are testament to the ever increasing interest in the design of mild and efficient synthetic routes to functionalized indole derivatives. This Review emphasizes the achievements in the selective catalytic functionalization of indoles (C-C bond-forming processes) over the last four years.