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The asymmetric syntheses of a range of N- and O-protected 3-deoxy-3-aminosphingoid bases have been achieved using two complementary approaches. dl-Serine was converted to a racemic N,N-dibenzyl-protected γ-amino-α,β-unsaturated ester which was resolved using a parallel kinetic resolution (PKR) strategy upon reaction with a pseudoenantiomeric mixture of lithium (R)-N-benzyl-N-(α-methylbenzyl)amide and lithium (S)-N-3,4-dimethoxybenzyl-N-(α-methylbenzyl)amide, giving the corresponding enantio- and diastereoisomerically pure β,γ-diamino esters. Alternatively, elaboration of l-serine gave the corresponding enantiopure N,N-dibenzyl-protected γ-amino-α,β-unsaturated ester, and doubly diastereoselective conjugate addition of the antipodes of lithium N-benzyl-N-(α-methylbenzyl)amide was found to proceed under the dominant stereocontrol of the lithium amide reagent in both cases, thus augmenting the accessible range of β,γ-diamino esters. Both of these protocols were expanded to include in situ oxidation of the enolate formed upon conjugate addition, giving access to the corresponding α-hydroxy-β,γ-diamino esters. Elaboration of these β,γ-diamino and α-hydroxy-β,γ-diamino esters gave the protected forms of the 3-deoxy-3-aminosphingoid base targets.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of organic chemistry

Publication Date





12447 - 12466


Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford , Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TA, U.K.