Synthesis 2017, DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1589506
This review is an in-depth survey of the reported synthetic approaches for the preparation of racemic α-amino esters via the reduction of α-nitro or α-oxime ester intermediates. Accordingly, it describes the many pathways that have been designed to prepare such intermediates. This includes synthesis starting with α-nitroacetates, dialkyl malonates, acetoacetates, diethyl oxalates as well as [2+3] or [2+4] cycloadditions using, respectively, alkyl carbonocyanidate N-oxides or alkyl 2-nitrosoacrylates. This review also contains the description of a myriad of side reactions which can occur when working with α-nitro esters.