Enantioselective synthesis of indole derivatives

Indoles, and structures derived from them, are a component of many natural substances, such as the amino acid tryptophan. A new catalytic reaction produces cyclopenta[ b ] indoles—frameworks made of three rings that are joined at the edges—very selectively and with the desired spatial structure. As a research team reports in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the rates of the different steps of the reaction play a critical role.