Michael reaction of 1,7-pctadien-3-one with 2-methylcyclopentane-1,3-dione, followed by intramolecular aldol condensation promoted by L-amino acids produced the optically active (+)-4-(3-butenyl)-7a-methyl-5,6,7,7a-tetrahydroindane-1,5-dione in high chemical and optical yields. The PdCl2-catalyzed oxidation of the terminal double bond gave the methyl ketone, which had 76% optical purity and was made 100% optically pure by recrystallization. Then aldol condensation afforded the tricyclic ketone, which was alkylated with 3-butenyl iodide to afford (-)-3β-t-butoxy-2,3,3a,4,5,7,8,9,9aβ,9bα-decahydro-6-(3-butenyl)-3aβ-methyl-1H-benz[e]inden-7-one. The synthesis of this compound means the total synthesis of (+)-19-nortestosterone.
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