Total Synthesis of (-)-Pseudolaric Acid B

We report a full account of our work toward the total synthesis of pseudolaric acid B (1a), a diterpene acid isolated from the bark of Pseudolarix kaempferi Gordon (pinaceae). Compound 1a is an antifungal and antifertility agent. Furthermore, its capacity for inhibiting tubulin polymerization makes it a potential lead for cancer therapy. Herein, we describe the use of a Ru- or Rh-catalyzed [5 + 2] intramolecular cycloaddition reaction of an alkyne and a vinylcyclopropane for the construction of the polyhydroazulene core of the molecule. Our first unsuccessful strategy for the introduction of the quaternary center based on an epoxide opening with cyanide led to the discovery of a new TBAF-mediated isomerization of a 1,4-diene to a 1,3-diene and a vinylogous eliminative opening of an epoxide to form a dienol. Our second strategy, based on the cyclization of an alkoxycarbonyl radical upon a diene system, succeeded in forming the quaternary center. Detailed studies showed the dependence of this underutilized approach for the synthesis of lactones on substrate structure and reaction conditions. In the late stage of the synthesis, the unique capacity of cerium organometallic reagents to add to a sensitive, sterically hindered ketone was demonstrated. The easy formation of an oxo-bridged derivative was the major hurdle to the completion of the synthesis and showcased the intriguing reactivity of the complex core of the pseudolaric acids.

Published in:
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 130, 48, 16424-16434

 Record created 2009-01-02, last modified 2018-12-03

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