Challenging 50 Years of Established Views on Ugi Reaction: A Theoretical Approach

The Ugi reaction is one of the most famous multicomponent couplings, and its efficiency is still explained by the original mechanism suggested by Ugi in the 60s. This article aims to present a thorough theoretical study of this reaction. It describes how the imine is activated and how the new stereogenic center is formed. Our calculations strongly suggest alternatives to some commonly accepted features, such as the reversibility of the intermediate steps, and temper the nature of the driving force of the reaction.