Stereocontrolled 1,3-Nitrogen Migration To Access Chiral α-Amino Acids

E. Meggers and S. Chen describe the synthesis of chiral α-amino acids through 1,3-nitrogen migration.

There is great demand for unnatural and non-proteinogenic α-amino acids, which find applications both in basic and applied research. For example, unnatural amino acid side chains modulate the chemical, physical, and pharmaceutical properties of peptides, proteins and other bioactive molecules. Chiral amino acids are also used as chiral building blocks for chiral catalysts and as chiral auxiliaries. Despite the development of many powerful synthetic methods to access optically active α-amino acids, efficient catalytic enantioselective methods are still sought after and the subject continues to attract strong interest in modern organic chemistry. The research group of Professor Eric Meggers at the University of Marburg (Germany), in collaboration with Professor Shuming Chen at Oberlin College (Ohio, USA), recently reported a new synthetic strategy to access chiral non-racemic α-amino acids.

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