α-Unsubstituted β-hydroxy acids (3-hydroxycarboxylic acids) are constituents of various natural products with pharmacological and other technical properties of interest. They are also important intermediates in organic synthesis. This article reviews various possible routes for asymmetric synthesis of enantiopure or enantiomerically enriched α-unsubstituted β-hydroxy acids.
Keywords: 3-hydroxycarboxylic acids, asymmetric aldol reactions, Reformatsky reactions, asymmetric reduction, Arndt-Eistert homologation, β-lactones, cyclic sulfites, cyclic sulfates, reductive cleavage
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