Cp*-free cobalt-catalyzed alkyne annulations by C-H/N-H functionalizations were accomplished with molecular O2 as the sole oxidant. The user-friendly oxidase strategy proved viable with various internal and terminal alkynes through kinetically relevant C-H cobaltation, providing among others step-economical access to the anticancer topoisomerase-I inhibitor 21,22-dimethoxyrosettacin. DFT calculations suggest that electronic effects control the regioselectivity of the alkyne insertion step.
- C-H activation
- Density functional calculations
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