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The γ-butenolide structural motif is a prominent feature in many bioactive natural products and drugs. This short review summarizes catalytic asymmetric synthesis of γ-butenolides through direct vinylogous reactions by metal complexes and organocatalysts. In light of building chiral γ-tertiary and quaternary carbon centers of butenolides, three synthetic strategies are included: 1) the reactions with furanone derivatives as nucleophiles, 2) olefination of γ,γ- disubstituted butenolides and 3) the reactions by using γ,γ-disubstituted butenolides as nucleophiles.


Lin Yan, Xiaohong Wu, Hongjun Liu, Liangying Xie, Zhiyong Jiang. Catalytic asymmetric synthesis of γ-butenolides by direct vinylogous reactions. Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry. 2013 May 1;13(6):845-53

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PMID: 23544459

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