The palladium-catalyzed arylation of different alpha-methylene-gamma-lactone-containing sesquiterpene lactones was shown to produce E-olefin coupling products selectively in moderate to excellent yields. Biological evaluation of these semisynthetic sesquiterpene lactone derivatives in HeLa cells showed interesting antiproliferative profiles and provided initial structure-activity data.
An efficient method for the α-methylenation of carbonyl groups is reported, and this transformation is accomplished by a facile elimination of trifluoroacetate during the formation of the olefin. This method represents an improvement beyond existing protocol in cases of steric hindrance, and we have demonstrated the utility of the process across a series of ketones, lactams, and lactones. Additionally, we have applied this method to produce semisynthetic derivatives of the natural products (+)-sclareolide and (-)-eburnamonine, in which the carbonyl group is proximal to bulky functional groups. Mechanistic insight is also provided from a time course of (19)F NMR. Biological evaluation of the natural-product-derived enones led to the identification of a derivative of (-)-eburnamonine with significant cytotoxicity (LC(50) = 14.12 μM) in drug-resistant MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.
A powerful, new reagent, an amidinate salt of hexafluoroacetone hydrate, is an air-stable salt that can be used for the preparation of fluorinated organic molecules. Nucleophilic trifluoromethylation reactions are demonstrated following the base-promoted release of trifluoroacetate. This reagent is soluble in many polar organic solvents and produces fluoroform, following the release of trifluoroacetate. Reactions with this reagent and common electrophiles provide excellent yields of trifluoromethylated products.
Organosilicon compounds, in the form of cubic metallasiloxanes, cage-like silsesquioxanes, macromolecular nanocages, and flexible structures such as dendrimers and linear metallsiloxanes, have found useful applications as catalysts, ligands for metal complexes, and catalyst supports. Illustrative examples of these are presented. The well-defined structures of these compounds make them particularly suitable as molecular analogues of zeolites or silica-supported catalysts. A unique feature of many of these compounds is the presence of flexible siloxane bonds, which accommodate large fluctuations in the framework geometry, reminiscent of the adaptability of enzymes to conformational changes, and distinguish siloxane containing materials from carbon based synthetic materials. New preparative pathways and the use of the versatile silyl ester as a protection group have greatly expanded synthetic possibilities, pointing to the possibility of assembling these structures to form multifunctional catalytic structures. Some nanocage structures, with functionalities organized in close proximity, exhibit nanoconfinement effects.
A tetrahedral stannasilsesquioxane complex was synthesized as a racemic mixture using Sn(O(i)Pr)4 and silsesquioxanediol, and its structure was confirmed with X-ray crystallography, NMR, and EXAFS. The complex was a Lewis acid, and both anti and syn-binding with Lewis bases were possible with the formation of octahedral Sn complexes. It was also a Lewis acid catalyst active for epoxide ring opening and hydride transfer.
The biological role of installing a critical exocyclic enone into the structure of the alkaloid, (−)-eburnamonine, and characterization of the new chemical reactivity by quantitative NMR without using deuterated solvents are described. This selective modification to a natural product imparts potent anticancer activity as well as bestows chemical reactivity toward nucleophilic thiols, which was measured by quantitative NMR. The synthetic strategy provides an overall conversion of 40%. In the key synthetic step, a modified Peterson olefination was accomplished through the facile release of trifluoroacetate to create the requisite enone in the presence of substantial steric hindrance.
Recent studies suggest that leukemia stem cells (LSCs) play a critical role in initiation, propagation, and relapse of leukemia. Herein we show that (−)-15-methylene-eburnamonine, a derivative of the alkaloid, (−)-eburnamonine, is cytotoxic against acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemias (ALL and CLL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). The agent also reduces primary LSC frequency in vitro. The cytotoxic effects appear to be mediated via the oxidative stress pathways. Furthermore, we show that the compound kills AML, ALL, and CLL stem cells, and using a novel humanized bone marrow murine model of leukemia (huBM/NSG), it reduces progenitor cell engraftment.
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