Synthesis of (±)-Emtricitabine and (±)-Lamivudine by Chlorotrimethylsilane–Sodium Iodide-Promoted Vorbrüggen Glycosylation

The Journal of Organic Chemistry 87(5) 2887-2897, DOI: 10.1021/acs.joc.1c02772

By simple combination of water and sodium iodide (NaI) with chlorotrimethylsilane (TMSCl), promotion of a Vorbrüggen glycosylation en route to essential HIV drugs emtricitabine (FTC) and lamivudine (3TC) is achieved. TMSCl–NaI in wet solvent (0.1 M water) activates a 1,3-oxathiolanyl acetate donor for N-glycosylation of silylated cytosine derivatives, leading to cis-oxathiolane products with up to 95% yield and >20:1 dr. This telescoped sequence is followed by recrystallization and borohydride reduction, resulting in rapid synthesis of (±)-FTC/3TC from a tartrate diester.