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  1. The formation of amide bonds represents one of the most fundamental processes in organic synthesis. Transition-metal-catalyzed activation of acyclic twisted amides has emerged as an increasingly powerful platform in synthesis. Herein, we report the transamidation of N-activated twisted amides by selective N–C(O) cleavage mediated by air- and moisture-stable half-sandwich Ni(II)–NHC (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbenes) complexes. We demonstrate that the readily available cyclopentadienyl complex, [CpNi(IPr)Cl] (IPr = 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene), promotes highly selective transamidation of the N–C(O) bond in twisted N-Boc amides with non-nucleophilic anilines. The reaction provides access to secondary anilides via the non-conventional amide bond-forming pathway. Furthermore, the amidation of activatedmore »phenolic and unactivated methyl esters mediated by [CpNi(IPr)Cl] is reported. This study sets the stage for the broad utilization of well-defined, air- and moisture-stable Ni(II)–NHC complexes in catalytic amide bond-forming protocols by unconventional C(acyl)–N and C(acyl)–O bond cleavage reactions.« less
  2. In this Special Issue on N-Heterocyclic Carbenes and Their Complexes in Catalysis, we report the first example of Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of amides catalyzed by well-defined, air- and moisture-stable nickel/NHC (NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene) complexes. The selective amide bond N–C(O) activation is achieved by half-sandwich, cyclopentadienyl [CpNi(NHC)Cl] complexes. The following order of reactivity of NHC ligands has been found: IPr > IMes > IPaul ≈ IPr*. Both the neutral and the cationic complexes are efficient catalysts for the Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of amides. Kinetic studies demonstrate that the reactions are complete in < 1 h at 80 °C. Complete selectivity for themore »cleavage of exocyclic N-acyl bond has been observed under the experimental conditions. Given the utility of nickel catalysis in activating unreactive bonds, we believe that well-defined and bench-stable [CpNi(NHC)Cl] complexes will find broad application in amide bond and related cross-couplings of bench-stable acyl-electrophiles.« less
  3. Acyl Suzuki cross-coupling involves the coupling of an organoboron reagent with an acyl electrophile (acyl halide, anhydride, ester, amide). This review provides a timely overview of the very important advances that have recently taken place in the acylative Suzuki cross-coupling. Particular emphasis is directed toward the type of acyl electrophiles, catalyst systems and new cross-coupling partners. This review will be of value to synthetic chemists involved in this rapidly developing field of Suzuki cross-coupling as well as those interested in using acylative Suzuki cross-coupling for the synthesis of ketones as a catalytic alternative to stoichiometric nucleophilic additions or Friedel-Crafts reactions.
  4. We report a general, highly selective method for Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling of N-acylphthalimides via N–C(O) acyl cleavage catalyzed by Pd–PEPPSI-type precatalysts. Of broad synthetic interest, the method introduces N-acylphthalimides as new, bench-stable, highly reactive, twist-controlled, amide-based precursors to acyl-metal intermediates. The reaction delivers functionalized biaryl ketones by acylative Suzuki–Miyaura cross-coupling with readily available boronic acids. Studies demonstrate that cheap, easily prepared, and broadly applicable Pd–PEPPSI-type precatalysts supported by a sterically demanding IPr (1,3-Bis-(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazol-2-ylidene) ancillary ligand provide high yields in this reaction. Preliminary selectivity studies and the effect of Pd–N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC) complexes with allyl-type throw-away ligands are described. We expect thatmore »N-acylphthalimides will find significant use as amide-based acyl coupling reagents and cross-coupling precursors to acyl-metal intermediates.« less
  5. Although the palladium-catalyzed Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling of aryl esters has received significant attention, there is a lack of methods that utilize cheap and readily accessible Pd-phosphane catalysts, and can be routinely carried out with high cross-coupling selectivity. Herein, we report the first general method for the cross-coupling of pentafluorophenyl esters (pentafluorophenyl = pfp) by selective C–O acyl cleavage. The reaction proceeds efficiently using Pd(0)/phosphane catalyst systems. The unique characteristics of pentafluorophenyl esters are reflected in the fully selective cross-coupling vs. phenolic esters. Of broad synthetic interest, this report establishes pentafluorophenyl esters as new, highly reactive, bench-stable, economical, ester-based, electrophilic acylative reagentsmore »via acyl-metal intermediates. Mechanistic studies strongly support a unified reactivity scale of acyl electrophiles by C(O)–X (X = N, O) activation. The reactivity of pfp esters can be correlated with barriers to isomerization around the C(acyl)–O bond.« less