Synthesis of 2-Cyclopentenones by Gold(I)-Catalyzed Rautenstrauch Rearrangement

The rearrangement of 1-ethynyl-2-propenyl pivaloates to cyclopentenones catalyzed by cationic triphenylphosphinegold(I) complexes is described. The reaction tolerates both alkyl and aryl substitution at the acetylenic and olefinic positions. Importantly, the gold(I)-catalyzed rearrangement of enantioenriched propargyl pivaloates proceeds with excellent chirality transfer, thus providing a practical method for the enantioselective synthesis of cyclopentenones.