In the presence of a catalytic amount of [Cp*RuCl(cod)] (Cp*=pentamethylcyclopentadienyl, cod=1,5-cyclooctadiene), 1,6-diynes were allowed to react chemo- and regioselectively with nitriles bearing a coordinating group, such as dicyanides or α-halonitriles, at ambient temperature to afford bicyclic pyridines. Careful screening of nitrile components revealed that a CC triple bond or heteroatom substituents, such as methoxy and methylthio groups, proved to act as the coordinating groups, whereas CC or CO double bonds and amino groups failed to promote cycloaddition. This suggests that coordinating groups with multiple π-bonds or lone pairs are essential for the nitrile components.
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