A synthetic method to prepare (E)-(pyridin-2-yl)enones and (E)-(quinolin-8-yl)enones that relies on the respective copper(I)-catalyzed formal cross-dehydrogenative coupling (CDC) reaction of 2-methylpyridine and 8-methylquinoline with methyl ketones has been discovered. The mechanism was delineated to follow a pathway involving oxidation of the N-heterocycle to its corresponding aldehyde adduct prior to reaction with the methyl ketone. The versatility and substrate dependent divergence in the reactivity of the copper-mediated CDC strategy was exemplified by its application to the synthesis of N-(quinolin-8-ylmethyl)amide and N-(quinolin-8-ylmethyl)aniline adducts on switching the cross-coupling partner to benzamides or an aniline derivative.
- C-H bond activation
- cross-dehydrogenative coupling
- homogeneous catalysis
- synthetic methods