In the biosynthesis sterols an enzyme-catalyzed demethylation is achieved via a stepwise oxidative transformation of alcohols to olefins. The overall demethylation proceeds through two sequential monooxygenation reactions and a subsequent dehydroformylative saturation. To mimic the desaturation processes observed in nature, we have successfully integrated photoredox proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) and cobaloxime chemistry for the acceptorless dehydrogenation of alcohols. The state-of-the-art remote and precise desaturation of ketones proceeds efficiently through the activation of cyclic alcohols using bond-dissociation free energy (BDFE) as thermodynamic driving force. The resulting transient alkoxyl radical allows C-C bond scission to generate the carbon-centered radical remote to the carbonyl moiety. This key intermediate is subsequently combined with cobaloxime photochemistry to furnish the alkene. Moreover, the mild protocol can be extended to desaturation of linear alcohols as well as aromatic hydrocarbons. Application to bioactive molecules and natural product derivatives is also presented.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was financially supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia, Office of Sponsored Research (URF/1/4025).
© 2022, The Author(s).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)