Advances in the synthesis of ring-fused benzimidazoles and imidazobenzimidazoles

Sweeney, Martin, Conboy, Darren, Mirallai, Styliana I. and Aldabbagh, Fawaz (2021) Advances in the synthesis of ring-fused benzimidazoles and imidazobenzimidazoles. Molecules, 26(9), p. 2684. ISSN (online) 1420-3049


This review article provides a perspective on the synthesis of alicyclic and heterocyclic ring-fused benzimidazoles, imidazo[4,5-f]benzimidazoles, and imidazo[5,4-f]benzimidazoles. These heterocycles have a plethora of biological activities with the iminoquinone and quinone derivatives displaying potent bioreductive antitumor activity. Synthesis is categorized according to the cyclization reaction and mechanisms are detailed. Nitrobenzene reduction, cyclization of aryl amidines, lactams and isothiocyanates are described. Protocols include condensation, cross-dehydrogenative coupling with transition metal catalysis, annulation onto benzimidazole, often using CuI-catalysis, and radical cyclization with homolytic aromatic substitution. Many oxidative transformations are under metal-free conditions, including using thermal, photochemical, and electrochemical methods. Syntheses of diazole analogues of mitomycin C derivatives are described. Traditional oxidations of o-(cycloamino)anilines using peroxides in acid via the t-amino effect remain popular.

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