Borate esters: Simple catalysts for the sustainable synthesis of complex amides

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Science Advances  22 Sep 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 9, e1701028
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701028

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Chemical reactions for the formation of amide bonds are among the most commonly used transformations in organic chemistry, yet they are often highly inefficient. A novel protocol for amidation using a simple borate ester catalyst is reported. The process presents significant improvements over other catalytic amidation methods in terms of efficiency and safety, with an unprecedented substrate scope including functionalized heterocycles and even unprotected amino acids. The method was used to access a wide range of functionalized amide derivatives, including pharmaceutically relevant targets, important synthetic intermediates, a catalyst, and a natural product.

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