Combined experimental and theoretical studies of regio- and stereoselectivity in reactions of β-isoxazolyl- and β-imidazolyl enamines with nitrile oxides
Beilstein Institut -- Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry
DOI 10.3762/bjoc.12.233
  1. β-azolyl enamine
  2. [3 + 2]-cycloaddition
  3. isoxazole
  4. isoxazoline
  5. nitrile oxide

Reactions of β-azolyl enamines and nitrile oxides were studied by both experimental and theoretical methods. (E)-β-(4-Nitroimidazol-5-yl), (5-nitroimidazol-4-yl) and isoxazol-5-yl enamines smoothly react regioselectively at room temperature in dioxane solution with aryl, pyridyl, and cyclohexylhydroxamoyl chlorides without a catalyst or a base to form 4-azolylisoxazoles as the only products in good yields. The intermediate 4,5-dihydroisoxazolines were isolated as trans isomers during the reaction of (E)-β-imidazol-4-yl enamines with aryl and cyclohexylhydroxamoyl chlorides. Stepwise and concerted pathways for the reaction of β-azolyl enamines with hydroxamoyl chlorides were considered and studied at the B3LYP/Def2-TZVP level of theory combined with D3BJ dispersion correction. The reactions of benzonitrile oxide with both E- and Z-imidazolyl enamines have been shown to proceed stereoselectively to form trans- and cis-isoxazolines, respectively. The preference of E-isomers over Z-isomers, driven by the higher stability of the former, apparently controls the stereoselectivity of the investigated cycloaddition reaction with benzonitrilе oxide. Based on the reactivity of azolyl enamines towards hydroxamoyl chlorides, a novel, effective catalyst-free method was elaborated to prepare 4-azolyl-5-substituted isoxazoles that are otherwise difficult to obtain.