The construction of nitrogen-containing compounds has become a significant challenge in modern synthetic chemistry. Aziridines, a type of nitrogen-containing compound, exhibit unique biological activities.
Due to their potential pharmacological activities, there is increasing interest in developing new synthetic methodologies for the production of aziridines from bioactive natural products.
Current strategies for olefin aziridination require pre-functionalized amination reagents, stoichiometric oxidants, and transition-metal catalysts, limiting their potential applications and overall efficiency.
In the past two decades, electrochemistry has provided sustainable approaches for olefin aziridination. However, these methods have been limited to specific substrates, making it challenging to modify natural products. Overcoming the incompatible reactivity of unactivated olefins and amination reagents has been a major obstacle in this field.
Building on previous research, Aiwen Lei and colleagues from the Institute of Advanced Studies at Wuhan University proposed a novel approach to achieve olefin aziridination through radical/radical cation cross-coupling. By simultaneously oxidizing alkenes and amination reagents, radical species can cross-couple and eliminate the need for catalysts and extra-oxidants.
This method demonstrates excellent compatibility with various bioactive molecules and shows promise in anticancer activity and synthetic transformation of aziridines. It offers a new synthetic strategy for olefin aziridination and provides an alternative approach to discovering new drug candidates.