Spontaneous absolute asymmetric synthesis promoted by achiral amines in conjunction with asymmetric autocatalysis
Journal of Systems Chemistry
The origin of homochirality of organic compounds such as L-amino acids and D-sugars have intrigued many scientists, and several hypotheses regarding its homochirality have been proposed. According to the statistical theory, small fluctuations in the ratio of the two enantiomers are present in a racemic mixture obtained from the reaction of achiral molecules. We report herein the reaction of pyrimidine-5-carbaldehyde and diisopropylzinc in the presence of achiral amine such as
... N,N'-dimethylpiperazine, N,N'-diethylpiperazine or N-methylmorpholine but in the absence of a chiral substance. The stochastic formation of (S)-and (R)-pyrimidyl alkanols with detectable ee was observed. This study shows that the slight fluctuation of the enantiomeric ratio of pyrimidyl alkanol produced at the initial reaction step can be enhanced significantly in conjunction with asymmetric autocatalysis with amplification of enantiomeric excess. We believe that the stochastic behavior in the formation of pyrimidyl alkanol constitutes one of the conditions necessary for spontaneous absolute asymmetric synthesis.