Remarkable Effect of [Li(G4)]TFSI Solvate Ionic Liquid (SIL) on the Regio- and Stereoselective Ring Opening of α-Gluco Carbasugar 1,2-Epoxides

Molecules. 2019 Aug 14;24(16):2946. doi: 10.3390/molecules24162946.


Carba analogues of biologically relevant natural carbohydrates are promising structures for the development of future drugs endowed with enhanced hydrolytic stability. An open synthetic challenge in this field is the optimization of new methodologies for the stereo- and regioselective opening of α-gluco carbasugar 1,2-epoxides that allow for the preparation of pseudo mono- and disaccharides of great interest. Therefore, we investigated the effect of Lewis acids and solvate ionic liquids (SILs) on the epoxide ring opening of a model substrate. Of particular interest was the complete stereo- and regioselectivity, albeit limited to simple nucleophiles, toward the desired C(1) isomer that was observed using LiClO4. The results obtained with SILs were also remarkable. In particular, Li[NTf2]/tetraglyme ([Li(G4)]TFSI) was able to function as a Lewis acid and to direct the attack of the nucleophile preferentially at the pseudo anomeric position, even with a more complex and synthetically interesting nucleophile. The regioselectivity observed for LiClO4 and [Li(G4)]TFSI was tentatively ascribed to the formation of a bidentate chelating system, which changed the conformational equilibrium and ultimately permitted a trans-diaxial attack on C(1). To the best of our knowledge, we report here the first case in which SILs were successfully employed in a ring-opening process of epoxides.

Keywords: [Li(G3)]TFSI; [Li(G4)]TFSI; carbasugars; solvate ionic liquids (SILs); α-gluco 1,2-epoxide.

MeSH terms

  • Carbasugars / chemistry*
  • Epoxy Compounds / chemistry*
  • Ethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Ionic Liquids / chemistry*
  • Lithium / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Carbasugars
  • Epoxy Compounds
  • Ethylene Glycols
  • Ionic Liquids
  • tetraglyme
  • Lithium