Vasicine is a quinazoline alkaloid that can be extracted from dried leaves of Adhatoda vasica. Vasicine offers both Lewis basic and acidic sites and has great potential as an organocatalyst that can activate both nucleophiles as well as electrophiles.
In the important reduction of nitroarenes to anilines, the use of Vasicine can replace flammable hydrogen gas as well as hazardous and toxic reagents.
Vasicine, an abundantly available quinazoline alkaloid from the leaves of Adhatoda vasica, enables an efficient metal- and base-free reduction of nitroarenes to the corresponding anilines in water. The chemoselective method tolerates a wide range of reducible functional groups, such as ketones, nitriles, esters, halogens, and heterocyclic rings. Dinitroarenes are reduced selectively to the corresponding nitroanilines.
S. Sharma, M. Kumar, V. Kumar, N. Kumar, J. Org. Chem., 2014, 79, 9433-9439.