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The Hofmann rearrangement (Hofmann degradation) is the organic reaction of a primary amide to a primary amine with one fewer carbon atom. The reaction involves oxidation of the nitrogen followed by rearrangement of the carbonyl and nitrogen to give an isocyanate intermediate. The reaction can form a wide range of products, including alkyl and aryl amines.
The intermediate isocyanate can be trapped with various nucleophiles to form stable carbamates or other products rather than undergoing decarboxylation. In the following example, the intermediate isocyanate is trapped by methanol.
In the synthesis of gabapentin, beginning with the mono-amidation of 1,1-cyclohexane diacetic acid anhydride with ammonia to 1,1-cyclohexane diacetic acid mono-amide, followed by a Hofmann rearrangement
^Baumgarten, Henry; Smith, Howard; Staklis, Andris (1975). "Reactions of amines. XVIII. Oxidative rearrangement of amides with lead tetraacetate". The Journal of Organic Chemistry. 40 (24): 3554-3561. doi:10.1021/jo00912a019.
^Almond, Merrick R.; Stimmel, Julie B.; Thompson, Alan; Loudon, Marc (1988). "Hofmann Rearrangement under Mildly Acidic Conditions using [I,I-Bis(Trifluoroacetoxy)]iodobenzene: Cyclobutylamine Hydrochloride from Cyclobutanecarboxamide". Organic Syntheses. 66: 132. doi:10.15227/orgsyn.066.0132.