An aerobic dehydrogenation of nitrogen-containing heterocycles catalyzed by Grubbs catalyst is developed. The reaction is applicable to various nitrogen-containing heterocycles. The exceptionally high functional group compatibility of this method was confirmed by the oxidation of an unprotected dihydroindolactam V to indolactam V. Furthermore, by taking advantage of the oxygen-mediated structural change of the Grubbs catalyst, we integrated ring-closing metathesis and subsequent aerobic dehydrogenation to develop the novel assisted-tandem catalysis using molecular oxygen as a chemical trigger. The utility of the assisted-tandem catalysis was demonstrated by the concise synthesis of N-containing fused heteroarenes including a natural antibiotic, pyocyanine.
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