Pyrrole oxidation to pyrrolinone derivatives has been observed during sulfoxide electrophilic sulfenylation (SES) promoted cyclization of sterically crowded pyrimidine derivatives. Preliminary studies with compounds lacking the third contiguous substituent indicate they do not produce pyrrolinones under the SES-promoted cyclization. The formation of pyrrolinones therefore appears to be restricted to sterically crowded substrates and may be due to conformational restrictions in these compounds.

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