Activation of iodosobenzene by catalytic tetrabutylammonium iodide and its application in the oxidation of some isoquinoline alkaloids

Wei Jan Huang, Om V. Singh, Chung Hsiung Chen, Sheng You Chiou, Shoei Sheng Lee

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Oxidation of N-methyltetrahydroisoquinolines with iodosylbenzene in the presence of a catalytic amount of tetrabutylammonium iodide in various solvents afforded N-methyl-2H-3,4-dihydroisoquinol-1-ones in almost quantitative yields. The application of this finding to the oxidation of other isoquinolines, including tetrahydroisoquinolines, lycorine diacetate, and benzyltetrahydroisoquinolines, also afforded the corresponding lactams in good yields, however, accompanied by a few minor byproducts. Under similar conditions, tetrahydroberberine gave a rearranged compound, berberal, as the major product, accompanied by 8-oxoberberine and berberine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1069-1078
Number of pages10
JournalHelvetica Chimica Acta
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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