Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Teaching an old ligand new tricks

Tertiary amines are poor directing groups for C(sp3)–H activation using Pdii catalysts due to favourable β-hydride elimination pathways. Now, an N-acetyl amino acid ligand is shown to shut down this deleterious pathway, enabling facile arylation of a highly medicinally relevant group of compounds.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Mechanism and synthetic exploration of Pd-catalysed γ-C(sp3)–H arylation of tertiary amines.


  1. Flick, A. C. et al. J. Med. Chem. 60, 6480–6515 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Xu, Y. & Dong, G. Chem. Sci. 9, 1424–1432 (2018).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. He, C., Whitehurst, W. G. & Gaunt, M. J. Chem 5, 1031–1058 (2019).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Niu, B., Yang, K., Lawrence, B. & Ge, H. ChemSusChem 12, 2955–2969 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Rodrigalvarez, J. et al. Nat. Chem. (2019).

  6. Chan, K. S. L. et al. Nat. Chem. 6, 146–150 (2014).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. St. John-Campell, S. & Bull, J. A. Org. Biomol. Chem. 16, 4582–4595 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael C. Young.

Additional information

Twitter: @YoungGroupChem

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Landge, V.G., Young, M.C. Teaching an old ligand new tricks. Nat. Chem. 12, 12–14 (2020).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing