Uncovering the Neglected Similarities of Arynes and Donor-Acceptor Cyclopropanes
Arynes and donor-acceptor (D-A) cyclopropanes are two classes of strained systems having the potential for numerous applications in organic synthesis. The last two decades have witnessed a renaissance of interest in the chemistry of these species primarily because of the mild and robust methods for their generation or activation. Commonly, arynes as easily polarizable systems result in 1,2-disubstitution, whereas D-A cyclopropanes as polarized systems lead to 1,3-bisfunctionalization thereby showing striking similarities. Transformations with 1,2- and 1,3-dipoles afford cyclic structures. With arynes, emerging four-membered rings as intermediates might react further, whereas the analogous five-membered rings obtained from D-A cyclopropanes are most often the final products. However, there are a few cases where these intermediates behave surprisingly differently. This Minireview highlights the parallels in reactivity between arynes and D-A cyclopropanes thereby shedding light on the neglected similarities of these two reactive species.