In contrast to the continuously growing number of methods that allow for the efficient α-functionalization of amines, few strategies exist that enable the direct functionalization of amines in the β-position. A general redox-neutral strategy is outlined for amine β-functionalization and α,β-difunctionalization that utilizes enamines generated in situ. This concept is demonstrated in the context of preparing polycyclic N,O-acetals from simple 1-(aminomethyl)-β-naphthols and 2-(aminomethyl)-phenols.
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