Asymmetric cyclization using Rh-complexes was applied to the synthesis of 4, 9-dimethylspiro[4.4]nonane-2, 7-diones. The spiro[4.4]nonane skeleton bearing a chiral quaternary carbon could be stepwisely constructed by using Rh-catalyzed cyclization twice. All diastereomers of the spirodiketone could be stereoselectively prepared from the identical starting material by the combination of a neutral Rh(PPh3)3Cl and a cationic Rh[BINAP]ClO4. The cyclization by the neutral Rh(PPh3)3Cl proceeded to give cis-3, 4-disubstituted cyclopentanones, while that by the cationic Rh[BINAP]ClO4proceeded to afford trans-3, 4-disubstituted cyclopentanones. Four spirodiketones of six stereoisomers could be prepared in optically active form, and the relationship between the stereochemistry of the spirodiketones and the Rh-complex was discussed based on the plausible acyl-hydride Rh-complexes. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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