The formation of amides and peptides often necessitates powerful yet mild reagent systems. The reagents used, however, are often expensive and highly elaborate. New atom-economical and practical methods that achieve such goals are highly desirable. Ideally, the methods should start with substrates that are readily available in both chiral and non-chiral forms and utilize cheap reagents that are compatible with a wide variety of functional groups, steric encumberance, and epimerizable stereocenters. A direct oxidative method was developed to form amide and peptide bonds between amines and primary nitroalkanes simply by using I2 and K2CO3 under O2. Contrary to expectations, a 1:1 halogen-bonded complex forms between the iodonium source and the amine, which reacts with nitronates to form α-iodo nitroalkanes as precursors to the amides.
- halogen bonding
- peptide formation