Synthesis of Enantiomerically Pure 3-Substituted Piperazine-2-acetic Acid Esters as Intermediates for Library Production

J Org Chem. 2018 Oct 5;83(19):11777-11793. doi: 10.1021/acs.joc.8b01708. Epub 2018 Sep 18.


The piperazine heterocycle is broadly exploited in FDA-approved drugs and biologically active compounds, but its chemical diversity is usually limited to ring nitrogen substitutions, leaving the four carbon atoms underutilized. Using an efficient six-step synthesis, chiral amino acids were transformed into 3-substituted piperazine-2-acetic acid esters as diastereomeric mixtures whose cis and trans products (dr 0.56 → 2.2:1, respectively) could be chromatographically separated. From five amino acids (both antipodes) was obtained a complete matrix of 20 monoprotected chiral 2,3-disubstituted piperazines, each as a single absolute stereoisomer, all but one in multigram quantities. In keeping with our overall purpose of constructing more Csp3-enriched compound libraries for drug discovery, these diverse and versatile piperazines can be functionalized on either nitrogen atom, allowing them to be used as scaffolds for parallel library synthesis and as intermediates for the production of novel piperazine compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't