Synthesis of Benzannulated Medium-ring Lactams via a Tandem Oxidative Dearomatization-Ring Expansion Reaction
Medium-ring natural products exhibit diverse biological activities but such scaffolds are underrepresented in probe and drug discovery efforts due to the limitations of classical macrocyclization reactions. We report herein a tandem oxidative dearomatization-ring-expanding rearomatization (ODRE) reaction that generates benzannulated medium-ring lactams directly from simple bicyclic substrates. The reaction accommodates diverse aryl substrates (haloarenes, aryl ethers, aryl amides, heterocycles) and strategic incorporation of a bridgehead alcohol generates a versatile ketone moiety in the products amenable to downstream modifications. Cheminformatic analysis indicates that these medium rings access regions of chemical space that overlap with related natural products and are distinct from synthetic drugs, setting the stage for their use in discovery screening against novel biological targets.