Ethyl 4-acetyl-5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl carboxylate was smoothly lithiated at the 5-methyl position, when the 4-acetyl group was protected with a 5,5-dimethyl-1,3-dioxanyl group. The lithio anion was quenched with a variety of electrophiles such as alkyl halides, aldehydes, TMSCl, and Me3SnCl in good to excellent yields. The lithiation of the unprotected compound and the 4-acetyl group protected as 1,3-dioxolanyl both failed. The effects of different bases have been investigated and the addition of LiCl significantly increased yields. Based on variable temperature NMR studies the 5,5-dimethyl-1,3-dioxanyl group appears to occupy a single chair conformation which may facilitate lateral metalation. This represents a facile entry into 5-functionalized 3-isoxazolyl carboxylic acid derivatives as prodrugs for the AMPA glutamate neurotransmitters of the central nervous system.
- Lateral lithiation