Molecules containing 3-substituted isobenzofuranones and isoindolinones skeletons are found in important bioactive compounds
and in a number of natural products. As a consequence several synthetic strategies, both asymmetric and non-asymmetric, have
been developed. Thus, this review focuses on the main synthetic approaches to obtain these classes of compounds, analysing the common
features, the scope and the limitations and at the same time giving particular emphasis to the role of active methylene compounds.
Keywords: Heterocyclic compounds, Bioactive compounds, Active methylene compounds, Tandem reactions, Organocatalysis, Metal
catalysts, Aldol reactions, Multi-component reactions, 1, 3-dicarbonyl, hydroxymethylation, formaldehyde
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