The title heterocycle is prepared in enantiomerically pure form and in 46-50% overall yield from (S)-asparagine, a readily available starting material. The synthetic route described in this report represents a major improvement over the original procedure (Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 1991, 3, 723), that afforded a 24-32% overall yield. Furthermore, the use of toxic reagents such as Pb(OAc)4and dimethyl sulfate is avoided in the present protocol. © 2003 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
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