[PLAIN]http://img543.imageshack.us/img543/4545/asdfrr.jpg [Broken] I'm wondering what the mechanism would be of the reaction in the pic I've attached. It does seem the Beta carbon acts as a nucleophile and attacks the carboxylic acid. I have a couple of questions, one general (#1) and one specific to the reaction shown (#2). 1. Does the Beta carbon of alpha, beta unsaturated ketones usually act as nucleophiles? I don't remember seeing any of these types of reactions in my undergrad course. Usually, a nucleophile is attacking the Beta carbon in an addition reaction. 2. Even in the presence of a catalyst, I don't know why this reaction can happen. The benzene ring is strongly de-activated is it not? It has a very electron-withdrawing group attached to it. Could it be because the compound is so extensively conjugated that the cation intermediate that forms (+ charge on the alpha carbon) is still relatively stable? Thanks!