A new chemo-enzymatic route to tetra-O-acetyl-l-ribofuranose from d-lyxose is described. Lipase-catalyzed regioselective transesterification of acetate proceeded on C-4 of the d-lyxopyranoside. Subsequently, stereochemistry of liberated secondary alcohol was inverted by way of oxidation and reduction by IBX and NaBH(OAc)3 to give l-ribopyranoside. After deprotection, the furanose-pyranose isomeric mixture was converged to the target molecule, taking advantage of lipase-catalyzed preferential acetylation of primary alcohol on C-5.
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