Carbon-Carbon Bond Cleavage for Late-Stage Functionalization

Chem Rev. 2023 Nov 22;123(22):12313-12370. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.3c00219. Epub 2023 Nov 9.


Late-stage functionalization (LSF) introduces functional group or structural modification at the final stage of the synthesis of natural products, drugs, and complex compounds. It is anticipated that late-stage functionalization would improve drug discovery's effectiveness and efficiency and hasten the creation of various chemical libraries. Consequently, late-stage functionalization of natural products is a productive technique to produce natural product derivatives, which significantly impacts chemical biology and drug development. Carbon-carbon bonds make up the fundamental framework of organic molecules. Compared with the carbon-carbon bond construction, the carbon-carbon bond activation can directly enable molecular editing (deletion, insertion, or modification of atoms or groups of atoms) and provide a more efficient and accurate synthetic strategy. However, the efficient and selective activation of unstrained carbon-carbon bonds is still one of the most challenging projects in organic synthesis. This review encompasses the strategies employed in recent years for carbon-carbon bond cleavage by explicitly focusing on their applicability in late-stage functionalization. This review expands the current discourse on carbon-carbon bond cleavage in late-stage functionalization reactions by providing a comprehensive overview of the selective cleavage of various types of carbon-carbon bonds. This includes C-C(sp), C-C(sp2), and C-C(sp3) single bonds; carbon-carbon double bonds; and carbon-carbon triple bonds, with a focus on catalysis by transition metals or organocatalysts. Additionally, specific topics, such as ring-opening processes involving carbon-carbon bond cleavage in three-, four-, five-, and six-membered rings, are discussed, and exemplar applications of these techniques are showcased in the context of complex bioactive molecules or drug discovery. This review aims to shed light on recent advancements in the field and propose potential avenues for future research in the realm of late-stage carbon-carbon bond functionalization.

Publication types

  • Review