Synthesis of (±)-actinophyllic acid and analogs: Applications of cascade reactions and diverted total synthesis

Brett A. Granger, Ivan T. Jewett, Jeffrey D. Butler, Bruce Hua, Claire E. Knezevic, Elizabeth I. Parkinson, Paul J. Hergenrother, Stephen F. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Actinophyllic acid is a biologically active indole alkaloid with a unique structural framework that incorporates five contiguous stereocenters. A total synthesis of (±)-actinophyllic acid has been completed that proceeds in only 10 steps from readily available, known compounds and with the isolation of nine intermediates. The synthesis features a novel cascade of reactions of N-stabilized carbocations with π-nucleophiles to create the tetracyclic core of actinophyllic acid in a single chemical operation. This pivotal cascade sequence generates substructures of the actinophyllic acid core that are not otherwise accessible, and one key intermediate was modified to furnish several novel compounds having potentially promising anticancer activity, one of which induces cell death in a wide range of cancer cell lines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12984-12986
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 4 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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