An effective method was developed for TfOH-catalyzed construction of spiroindanes and spirotetralines containing an all-carbon quaternary stereocenter. Intramolecular Friedel-Crafts-type 1,4-addition of the substrates which were di- or trimethoxybenzene and 2-cyclohexenone linked by an alkyl chain proceeded smoothly in the presence of 30 mol % of TfOH. A variety of spiroindanes and spirotetralines were obtained with moderate to excellent yield by this method. The reaction was successfully applied in the first total synthesis of the unusual proaporphine alkaloid (±)-misrametine, which included the gram-scale spirocyclization and selective O-demethylation used KCN in DMSO condition as key steps.
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