Brønsted Acid Catalyzed Asymmetric Hydroamination of Alkenes: Synthesis of Pyrrolidines Bearing a Tetrasubstituted Carbon Stereocenter

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 Jun 26;54(27):7847-51. doi: 10.1002/anie.201501762. Epub 2015 May 26.


The first highly enantioselective Brønsted acid catalyzed intramolecular hydroamination of alkenes enables the efficient construction of a series of chiral (spirocyclic) pyrrolidines with an α-tetrasubstituted carbon stereocenter with excellent functional group tolerance. A unique feature of this strategy is the use of a thiourea group acting as both the activating and the directing group through cooperative multiple hydrogen bonding with a Brønsted acid and the double bond. The utility of this method is highlighted by the facile construction of chiral synthetic intermediates and important structural motifs that are widely found in organic synthesis.

Keywords: Brønsted acid catalysis; alkenes; asymmetric catalysis; hydroamination; pyrrolidines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acids / chemistry
  • Alkenes / chemical synthesis
  • Alkenes / chemistry*
  • Amination
  • Carbon / chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic
  • Pyrrolidines / chemical synthesis*
  • Pyrrolidines / chemistry
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Acids
  • Alkenes
  • Pyrrolidines
  • Carbon