Catalytic asymmetric crotylation of aldehydes: application in total synthesis of (- )-elisabethadione

A new, highly efficient Lewis base catalyst for a practical enantio- and diastereoselective crotylation of unsaturated aldehydes with E- and Z-crotyltrichlorosilanes has been developed. The method was employed as a key step in a novel asymmetric synthesis of bioactive serrulatane diterpene (À)-elisabethadione. Other strategic reactions for setting up the stereogenic centers included anionic oxy-Cope rearrangement and cationic cyclization. The synthetic route relies on simple, high yielding reactions and avoids use of protecting groups or chiral auxiliaries.