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The Journey of Schinortriterpenoid Total Syntheses.

Yang, Zhen.
Acc Chem Res ; 52(2): 480-491, 2019 02 19.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30681828
Plants in the Schisandraceae family are important components of the traditional Chinese herbal medicines and are often used to treat various illnesses. Therefore, these Schisandraceae plants are valuable sources for the discovery of new chemical entities for novel therapeutic development. Considerable progress has been made in the identification of bioactive and structurally novel triterpenoids from the Schisandraceae family in the past two decades. In particular, Sun and co-workers have successfully isolated over 100 nortriterpenoids from the Schisandraceae family. Some of these nortriterpenoids have strong inhibitory activities toward hepatitis, tumors, and HIV-1. However, the natural scarcity of these nortriterpenoids in the Schisandraceae plants has hampered their isolation and further biomedical development, and their biosynthesis has not been fully elucidated. It is therefore important and urgent to develop efficient and streamlined total syntheses of these medicinally important nortriterpenoids. Such syntheses will provide sufficient materials for detailed biological studies as well as new synthetic analogues and probe molecules to improve their biological functions and elucidate their mode of actions. However, because of their structural novelty and complexity, the total syntheses of these nortriterpenoid natural products present a significant challenge for synthetic chemists, despite the progress made in organic synthesis, particularly total synthesis, in the 20th century and since the beginning of the 21st century. New synthetic methodologies and strategies therefore need to be invented and developed to facilitate the total syntheses of these nortriterpenoid natural products. With this in mind, our group has spent the last 15 years, ever since the isolation of micrandilactone A (1) by Sun and co-workers in 2003 ( Sun et al. Org. Lett. 2003 , 5 , 1023 - 1026 ), working on synthetic studies with a view to developing methods and strategies for the total syntheses of schinortriterpenoids. Enabling methods such as a thiourea/Pd-catalyzed alkocycarbonylative annulation and a thiourea/Co-catalyzed Pauson-Khand reaction have been developed under these circumstances to form the key ring systems and stereocenters of these complex target molecules. These methodological advances have led us to the first total syntheses of schindilactone A (2), lancifodilactone G acetate (6a), 19-dehydroxyarisandilactone A (9), and propindilactone G (10) with diverse structural features via a branching-oriented strategy. The chemistry developed during our total synthesis campaign has not only helped us to deal with various challenges encountered in the syntheses of the four target molecules, but has also opened up new avenues for synthesizing other naturally occurring schinortriterpenoids and their derivatives, which will likely result in molecules with improved biological functions and tool compounds to enable elucidation of their mechanism of actions or potential cellular targets. This Account highlights the chemistry evolution of our schinortriterpenoid syntheses.