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A simple and efficient protocol for the construction of 1-aminoisoquinolines was achieved by treating 2-(2-oxo-2- phenylethyl)benzonitriles with amines in the presence of Me 3 Al. The reaction proceeds via a domino nucleophilic addition with subsequent intramolecular cyclisation. This method provides a wide variety of substituted 1-aminoisoquinolines with good func- tional group tolerance. Furthermore, the synthetic utility of this protocol was demonstrated in the successful synthesis of the anti- tumor agent CWJ-a-5 in gram scale.


This work was originally published in Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and can be found at

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