Turning Cucurbit[8]uril into a Supramolecular Nanoreactor for Asymmetric Catalysis

Zheng, L., Sonzini, S., Ambarwati, M., Rosta, E., Scherman, O. A. & Herrmann, A., 2015, In : Angewandte Chemie - International Edition. 54, 44, p. 13007-13011 5 p.

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Chiral macromolecules have been widely used as synthetic pockets to mimic natural enzymes and promote asymmetric reactions. An achiral host, cucurbit[8]uril (CB[8]), was used for an asymmetric Lewis acid catalyzed Diels-Alder reaction. We achieved a remarkable increase in enantioselectivity and a large rate acceleration in the presence of the nanoreactor by using an amino acid as the chiral source. Mechanistic and computational studies revealed that both the amino acid-Cu(2+) complex and the dienophile substrate are included inside the macrocyclic host cavity, suggesting that contiguity and conformational constraints are fundamental to the catalytic process and rate enhancement. These results pave the way towards new studies on asymmetric reactions catalyzed in confined achiral cavities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13007-13011
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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