The prevalence of isocoumarins in numerous natural products that exhibit a wide range of biological activities has generated a continued and enormous interest among synthetic and medicinal chemists. The isocoumarin framework represents one of the privileged structures for the development of natural product-inspired compounds of potential biological interest. Considerable efforts have been devoted towards the synthesis of isocoumarins via either traditional or transition-metal catalyzed reactions. Among the metal catalyzed reactions, the use of Cu, Pd, Ag, Ru, Rh or Ir salts/complexes for the construction of isocoumarin ring are noteworthy. Among the other methodologies, halo-lactonization emerged as a practical process. Apart from preparing a variety of isocoumarins and thienopyranones, synthesis of naturally occurring and bioactive isocoumarins have been carried out by using cutting edge technologies. This review article will briefly cover all these aspects along with the synthetic utility of isocoumarins, highlighting recent developments.
Keywords: Lactone, isocoumarin, synthesis, catalysis, cyclization, alkyne
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