Thompson, S. K.; Hoye, T. R. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 19575–19580.
The generation of pyridynes from diyne nitriles is reported. These cyano-containing precursors are analogs of the triyne substrates typically used for the hexadehydro-Diels-Alder (HDDA) cycloisomerization reactions that produce ring-fused benzynes. Hence, the new processes described represent aza-HDDA reactions. Depending on the location of the nitrile, either 3,4-pyridynes (from 1,3-diynes containing a tethered cyano group) or 2,3-pyridynes (from 1-cyanoethyne derivatives containing a tethered alkyne) are produced. In situ trapping of these reactive intermediates leads to highly substituted and functionalized pyridine derivatives. In several instances, unprecedented pyridyne trapping reactions are seen. Differences in reaction energetics between the aza-HDDA substrates and that of their analogous HDDA (triyne) substrates are discussed.