Couple-close construction of polycyclic rings from diradicals

Alice Long, Christian J. Oswood, Christopher B. Kelly, Marian C. Bryan, David W.C. MacMillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Heteroarenes are ubiquitous motifs in bioactive molecules, conferring favourable physical properties when compared to their arene counterparts1–3. In particular, semisaturated heteroarenes possess attractive solubility properties and a higher fraction of sp3 carbons, which can improve binding affinity and specificity. However, these desirable structures remain rare owing to limitations in current synthetic methods4–6. Indeed, semisaturated heterocycles are laboriously prepared by means of non-modular fit-for-purpose syntheses, which decrease throughput, limit chemical diversity and preclude their inclusion in many hit-to-lead campaigns7–10. Herein, we describe a more intuitive and modular couple-close approach to build semisaturated ring systems from dual radical precursors. This platform merges metallaphotoredox C(sp2)–C(sp3) cross-coupling with intramolecular Minisci-type radical cyclization to fuse abundant heteroaryl halides with simple bifunctional feedstocks, which serve as the diradical synthons, to rapidly assemble a variety of spirocyclic, bridged and substituted saturated ring types that would be extremely difficult to make by conventional methods. The broad availability of the requisite feedstock materials allows sampling of regions of underexplored chemical space. Reagent-controlled radical generation leads to a highly regioselective and stereospecific annulation that can be used for the late-stage functionalization of pharmaceutical scaffolds, replacing lengthy de novo syntheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-332
Number of pages7
Issue number8007
StatePublished - Apr 11 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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