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Tropinone is an alkaloid, famously synthesised in 1917 by Robert Robinson as a synthetic precursor to atropine, a scarce commodity during World War I. Tropinone and the alkaloids cocaine and atropine all share the same tropane core structure.
Additional recommended knowledge
The first synthesis of tropinone was by Richard Willstätter in 1901. It started from the seemingly related cycloheptanone, but required many steps and had an overall yield of only 0.75%. Willstätter had previously synthesized cocaine from tropinone, in what was the first synthesis and elucidation of the structure of cocaine.
The 1917 synthesis by Robinson is considered a legend in total synthesis due to its simplicity and biomimetic approach. Tropinone is a bicyclic molecule, but the reactants used in its preparation are fairly simple: succinaldehyde, methyl amine and acetone dicarboxylic acid (or even acetone). The synthesis is a good example of a biomimetic reaction or biogenetic-type synthesis because biosynthesis makes use of the same building blocks. It also demonstrates a tandem reaction in a one-pot synthesis. Furthermore the yield of the synthesis was 17% and with subsequent improvements exceeded 90%.
The main features apparent from the reaction sequence below are:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tropinone". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|