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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 649197, 15 pages
Research Article

Facile and Promising Method for Michael Addition of Indole and Pyrrole to Electron-Deficient trans-β-Nitroolefins Catalyzed by a Hydrogen Bond Donor Catalyst Feist’s Acid and Preliminary Study of Antimicrobial Activity

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, P.O. Box 426, Ibrahimia, Alexandria 21321, Egypt
3Division of Microbiology, Pharmaceutics Department, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia

Received 8 October 2013; Accepted 4 November 2013; Published 16 January 2014

Academic Editors: R. P. Herrera, N. T. Patil, Z. Shao, and L.-W. Xu

Copyright © 2014 Abdullah M. A. Al Majid et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The importance of cooperative hydrogen-bonding effects has been demonstrated using novel 3-methylenecyclopropane-1,2-dicarboxylic acid (Feist’s acid (FA)) as hydrogen bond donor catalysts for the addition of indole and pyrrole to trans-β-nitrostyrene derivatives. Because of the hydrogen bond donor (HBD) ability, Feist’s acid (FA) has been introduced as a new class of hydrogen bond donor catalysts for the activation of nitroolefin towards nucleophilic substitution reaction. It has effectively catalyzed the Michael addition of indoles and pyrrole to β-nitroolefins under optimum reaction condition to furnish the corresponding Michael adducts in good to excellent yields (up to 98%). The method is general, atom-economical, convenient, and eco-friendly and could provide excellent yields and regioselectivities. Some newly synthesized compounds were for examined in vitro antimicrobial activity and their preliminary results are reported.