The Robinson annulation represents a tandem process including the Michael
addition and intramolecular Aldol condensation, affording biscyclo[4.4.0]-1-decen-3-one
skeleton with cyclohexanone and methyl vinyl ketone (MVK) being substrates. In this review,
the Robinson annulation is summarized by subtitles such as catalysis, the finding of
equivalent substrates, and some typical applications in the total synthesis, aiming at schematizing
achievements of the reaction. The Robinson annulation provides with a model
reaction to evaluate the enantioselectivity in the research of organocatalysis. Moreover,
attempts to find equivalent substrates instead of cyclohexanone and MVK become targets
in the exploration of organic methodology. Finally, the Robinson annulation acts as a
strategy widely employed to construct cyclohexenone scaffold in the total synthesis of
natural compounds. The aforementioned three facets toward Robinson annulation are still believed to be active
topics in the future research on organic reactions.
Keywords: Robinson annulation, organocatalyst, enantioselectivity, cyclohexanone, methyl vinyl ketone, total synthesis.
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