ACS: All that glitters is gold

The morning session of the Arthur C. Cope Award and Arthur C. Cope Scholar Awards just finished – I was really impressed with F. Dean Toste’s talk, which was a whirlwind tour of some of the work his group has done involving gold(I)-catalyzed reactions.

There are now a number of groups exploring the chemistry of gold(I) and gold(III) complexes – Toste’s group has focused on gold(I) complexes, which are air-/moisture-tolerant and able to catalyze a number of reactions, including the stereoselective cyclopropanation of olefins and intramolecular acetylenic Schmidt reactions (making substituted pyrroles). They’ve also shown that these reactions can be used to make natural products, recently demonstrating that the gold(I)-catalyzed cyclization of a silyl enol ether onto an alkyne enabled them to rapidly synthesize (+)-lycopladine A (in eight steps with 17% overall yield from the starting enone).


Joshua Finkelstein (Associate Editor, Nature)