L-Phenylalanine Cyclohexylamide: A simple and convenient auxiliary for the synthesis of optically pure α,α-disubstituted (R)- and (S)-amino acids



This work describes L-phenylalanine cyclohexylamide (5c) as a simple, cheap, and powerful chiral auxiliary for the synthesis of a series of optically pure α,α-disubstituted (R)- and (S)-amino acids of type 1, such as (R)- and (S)-2-methyl-phenylalanine (1a), (R)- and (S)-2-methyl-2-phenylglycine (1b), and (R)- and (S)-2-methylvaline (1c; Scheme 3). These amino acids were efficiently transformed into the suitably protected and activated amino acid building blocks (R)- and (S)-12b and (R)- and (S)-12c (Scheme 4) which are ready for incorporation into peptides by solution or solid-phase techniques. Based on the crystal structures of 6b, 6c, and 7a belonging to the diastereoisomeric peptides series 6 and 7, the absolute configurations of each member of the series were determined. β-Turn geometries of type II′ and I were observed for 6b and 7a, respectively, whereas 6c crystallized in an extended conformation. The impacts of side-chain variation on conformation and crystal packing of these triamides are discussed.