Aryl alkynoate esters undergo gold-catalyzed spirocyclization under mild conditions, affording spirolactones in high yields. This approach obviates the need for stoichiometric halogenating reagents typically employed for alkyne activation in related transformations. Water was found to play a critical role in governing the product selectivity. Anhydrous conditions lead selectively to coumarin products, as has previously been observed for aryl alkynoate esters, while the addition of 1 equiv of water leads selectively to spirocycle formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry