The γ-butenolide structural motif is a prominent feature in many bioactive natural products and drugs. This
short review summarizes catalytic asymmetric synthesis of γ-butenolides through direct vinylogous reactions by metal
complexes and organocatalysts. In light of building chiral γ-tertiary and quaternary carbon centers of butenolides, three
synthetic strategies are included: 1) the reactions with furanone derivatives as nucleophiles, 2) olefination of γ,γ-
disubstituted butenolides and 3) the reactions by using γ,γ-disubstituted butenolides as nucleophiles.
Keywords: Asymmetric synthesis, Vinylogous, Butenolides
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