A Chelation-Assisted Transformation:  Synthesis of Maleimides by the Rh-Catalyzed Carbonylation of Alkynes with Pyridin-2-ylmethylamine

The reaction of alkynes <b>1</b> with CO and pyridin-2-ylmethylamine (<b>2</b>) in the presence of Rh<sub>4</sub>(CO)<sub>12</sub>/P(OEt)<sub>3</sub> results in the incorporation of two molecules of CO leading to maleimide derivatives <b>3</b>. The coordination of the pyridine nitrogen in <b>2</b> to a rhodium center is essential for the reaction to proceed.