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A series of novel 5-aryl-4-aryloxymethyl-3-diazotetrahydrofuran-2-ones (12, 24, and 35a/b) have been prepared and found to undergo regio- and stereoselective C-H insertion reactions to afford 2,6-diaryl-3,7-dioxabicyclo[3.3.0]octane-8-ones (18, 26, and 36a/b) with endo,exo stereochemistry. Subsequent reduction of the lactone ring and cyclization of the resulting diols 27 and 37a/b permitted the synthesis of three endo,exo-furofuran lignans: asarinin (2), fargesin (3), and epimagnolin A (4). En route to the key diazo compounds 24 and 35a/b, a modified procedure for the Ghosez keteniminium-olefin cyclization was developed, which was required to minimize the decomposition of acid-sensitive functional groups such as electron-rich benzylic ethers that were present in the target compounds 2-4.

Original publication




Journal article


J Org Chem

Publication Date





6719 - 6728


Anti-Allergic Agents, Anticholesteremic Agents, Antihypertensive Agents, Antineoplastic Agents, Antioxidants, Dioxoles, Drugs, Chinese Herbal, Furans, Lignans, Lignin, Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors