Synlett 2014; 25(2): 298-299
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1340351
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Squaramides, Discovering a New Crucial Scaffold

Juan V. Alegre-Requena
Organic Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, University of Zaragoza, C/ Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain   Email: [email protected]
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Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
03 December 2013 (online)


Interest in squaramides has grown drastically over the last few years. One of the reasons is that squaramides can be used in many different ways in important fields such as organic chemistry, medicine, and chemical biology.

First of all, the rigidity of their cyclobutadienedione rings, the restricted rotation around the C–N bonds,[1] and the possibility of having both acidic hydrogens[2] and basic functionalities in a single molecule make them effective bifunctional organocatalysts for asymmetric reactions.[3]

Furthermore, they act as ion detectors, forming hydrogen bonds with the corresponding anion or cation.[2b] [4] The interaction with anions through hydrogen bonding also brought them to the attention of studies regarding transmembrane anion transport.[5]

In addition, squaramides have shown antimalarial,[6] antibacterial,[7] and anticancer[8] activity.

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