Olefin metathesis has emerged as a powerful tool in organic synthesis. The activating effect of an allylic hydroxy group in metathesis has been known for more than 10 years, and many organic chemists have taken advantage of this positive influence for efficient synthesis of natural products. Recently, the discovery of the rate enhancement by allyl sulfides in aqueous cross-metathesis has allowed the first examples of such a reaction on proteins. This led to a new benchmark in substrate complexity for cross-metathesis and expanded the potential of olefin metathesis for other applications in chemical biology. The enhanced reactivity of allyl sulfide, along with earlier reports of a similar effect by allylic hydroxy groups, suggests that allyl chalcogens generally play an important role in modulating the rate of olefin metathesis. In this review, we discuss the effect of allylic chalcogens in olefin metathesis and highlight its most recent applications in synthetic chemistry and protein modifications.
Lin, Y. A., & Davis, B. G. (2010, December 23). The allylic chalcogen effect in olefin metathesis. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.3762/bjoc.6.140