Palladium-Catalyzed Sequential Arylation and Allylic Alkylation of Highly Functionalized Ketones: A Concise Synthesis of Mesembrine

An unprecedented palladium-catalyzed sequential procedure toward arylation and allylic alkylation of highly functionalized cyclohexenones was developed. This new protocol leads to useful building blocks containing a benzylic quaternary carbon in only one step. A concise total synthesis of mesembrine based on this procedure was achieved in only five steps with 22% overall yield.