Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1986, 51, 930-936

Participation of the oxygen-containing substituent in alkaline saponification of 3,4a-disubstituted 4,4-dimethyl-5,6β-epoxy-A-homo-5β-cholestane derivatives

Helena Velgová

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 166 10 Prague 6


Alkaline saponification of the 3-acetoxy group in 3,4a-disubstituted 4,4-dimethyl-5,6β-epoxy-A-homo-5βcholestane derivatives I-VI was studied. It was found that the 3α- and 4aα-hydroxy groups participated in the cleavage of the 5β,6β-epoxide ring in the derivatives II-IV: the 5(O)n participation by the 3α-hydroxy group (the derivatives III and IV) led to formation of the transannular 3α,5α-epoxides XII and XIV whereas the participation by the 4aα-hydroxy group (the derivatives II and IV) gave rise to the 4aα,5α-epoxides IX and XV. The 5(O)n participation by the 3α-hydroxy group predominated over the preparation by the 4aα-hydroxy group. In the case of the 4a-keto epoxides V and VI the retroaldol-aldol type isomerization led to formation of 3β-hydroxy-4,4-dimethyl-5,6β-epoxy-A-homo-5β-cholestan-4a-one as the main component of the equilibration mixtures.