A recent review article,Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2009, 461-479 by Kang F. et al., describes a new, efficient, chemoselective and versatile phosphonium mediated tautomerization-activation methodology for tautomerizable heterocycles.
Phosphonium Coupling affords the direct C-N, C-S, C-O and C-C bond formation of electron deficient heterocycles with various nucleophiles (with boronic acid for C-C) via C-OH bond activation using phosphonium salts.
The author believes that the reactivity of the C-OP+ is similar to that of C-Br, so that direct bond formation can be achieved via either SNAr displacement or transition metal catalyzed cross coupling under mild condition.
This Phosphonium Coupling leads to the most efficient synthesis of biologically important nucleosides from unactivated, unprotected, commercially available starting materials.