complexes with potential antitumor properties.
Although several procedureshave been devised for the synthesis of
-aminonitriles, the Strecker reactionprovides one of the most efﬁcient methods. The classical Strecker reaction isgenerally carried out with alkali cyanides in aqueous solution, which has somelimitations; consequently several modiﬁcations of the Strecker reaction havebeen reported using a variety of cyanating agents such as tributyltin cyanide(Bu
-trimethylsiloxynitriles, and diethyl phosphorocyanides undervarious reaction conditions.
Trimethylsilylcyanide (TMSCN) is a cyanide ionsource that provides a promising and safer route to this class of reactions.
Recently, one-pot procedures for the synthesis of
-aminonitriles fromcarbonyl compounds have been developed in the presence of a variety of catalysts such as InCl
and montmorillonite KSF clay.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In continuation of our research program on organic transformations employingeasily available and inexpensive reagents under mild conditions at shortdurations, recently we have synthesized some medicinally importantmolecules.
Because of the signiﬁcance of
-aminonitriles, herein we report aclean procedure for the synthesis of a variety of
-aminonitriles under mildconditions using catalytic cerium(III) chloride. The reaction is efﬁcient andproceeds at room temperature either by the addition of a primary or secondaryamine to a mixture of aldehyde
trimethylsilyl cyanide (TMSCN) or by theaddition of an aldehyde to a mixture of amine
TMSCN in acetonitrile in thepresence of a catalytic amount of cerium chloride to give a high yield of theproduct as shown in Scheme 1.We chose benzaldehyde, aniline, and TMSCN as a representative reactionperformed in the presence of catalytic CeCl
in various organic solvents (viz.,methanol,dichloromethane,dichloroethane,tetrahydrofuran,ethanol,andaceto-nitrile). The reaction proceeds smoothly at room temperature, giving the corre-sponding
-aminonitrile in high yield (95%). Among the solvents examined,acetonitrileemergedassuperiormediumthatgaveexcellentresults.Theconden-sationofdifferentaldehydesandamineswasperformedundertheseconditionstoget
-aminonitrileswithin1.25to1.5 h(exceptentry16).Thecourseofreactionwas monitored by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). All the products obtainedby this system (listed in Table 1) were characterized by their melting
M. A. Pasha, H. M. Nanjundaswamy, and V. P. Jayashankara4372