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  1. Harmata, Michael (Ed.)
    Several years ago, a small family of diterpenoid natural products attracted our attention as novel targets for synthesis studies. Initially, four compounds were independently characterized by the research teams of Vidari1 and Steglich.2 Trichoaurantianolides AeD (1e4 of Fig. 9.1) were isolated from fruiting bodies of the mushrooms Tricholoma aurantium and Tricholoma fracticum in 1995. Subsequent efforts of Stermer and coworkers3 described the isolation of the closely related lepistal (5) and lepistol (6) of Fig. 9.2 as the corresponding C8 deoxygenated compounds of this family. In addition, the corresponding acetate of trichoaurantianolide B was discovered and named as 6-O-aetyl- trichoaurantin (7).2 Structure assignments were based upon extensive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies, and the features of relative stereo- chemistry were confirmed by an X-ray crystallographic analysis of trichoaurantianolide B (2).1b,2 These original investigators described the trichoaurantianolides as examples of a new class of diterpenes named as neodolastanes that signified a structural relationship to the tricyclic metabo- lites of marine origins known as dolastanes as represented by dolatriol (8)4 and the clavularane 95 of Fig. 9.2. Neodolastanes were defined as substances in which the bridgehead methyl substituent appears in a vicinal relationship with respect to the isopropyl group as exemplified in 4,5-deoxyneodolabelline (10) of Fig. 9.2, a related class of marine natural products.6 Steglich and coworkers2 also indicated an assignment of absolute stereo- chemistry for 2 that was based on Hamilton’s applications of linear-hypothesis testing of crystallographic data. This seldom-used technique was in agreement with the proposed absolute configuration of 2 that was advanced by Vidari, based on an assessment of the observed Cotton effects in CD spectroscopy. In 2003, Ohta and coworkers7 reported the discovery of related neodolastanes tricholomalides A, B, and C (structures 11, 12, and 13 of Fig. 9.3) from Tricholoma sp. They concluded that the tricholomalides possessed the opposite absolute configuration claimed for the trichoaurantianolides. This conclusion was based upon the independent analysis of their circular dichroism studies. By application of the octant rule for substituent effects on cisoid a,b- unsaturated ketones,8 Ohta and coworkers suggested a revision of the prior assignment of absolute configuration for the trichoaurantianolides. This asser- tion was advanced in spite of the consistently positive specific rotations recorded in different solvents for trichoaurantianolides A, B, and C1,2 versus the negative values of tricholomalides A (11) and B (12) (compare values in Figs. 9.1 and 9.3). Note that tricholomalide C (13) only differs from trichoaurantianolide B (2) as a C-8 diastereomeric alcohol, presented in the antipodal series. The specific rotation of 13 was of little value since it was recorded as [a]0 (c 0.01, MeOH).7 In 2006, Danishefsky described a pathway for the total synthesis of racemic tricholomalides A and B, and this effort led to a revision of the relative C-2 stereochemistry (Fig. 9.3; revised structures 14 and 15).9 It seemed rather unusual that genetically similar fungi would produce closely related metabolites as enantiomers, but certainly this is not unprecedented. As a starting point, this issue lacked clarity, and we concluded that our synthesis plans must unambig- uously address the issues of absolute configuration. The chemistry of dolabellane and dolastane diterpenes has been reviewed.10 The proposed pathway for biosynthesis of the trichoaurantianolides and related compounds (Fig. 9.4) follows an established sequence from geranyl- geranyl pyrophosphate (16), which undergoes p-cation cyclization to initially form the eleven-membered ring of 17. The event is followed by a second cyclization to form the dolabellane cation 18, and this [9.3.0]cyclotetradecane skeleton is central to several families of natural products. Direct capture or elimination from 18 leads to the 3,7-dolabelladiene 19, which presents the most common pattern of unsaturation within this class. Compounds within this group are traditionally numbered beginning with C-1 as the bridgehead carbon bearing the methyl group rather than following the connectivity presented in ger- anylgeranyl 16. The cation 18 also undergoes a 1,2-hydrogen migration and elimination, which leads to a transannular cyclization yielding the 5e7e6 tri- cyclic dolastane 20. The secodolastanes, represented by 21, are a small collec- tion of marine natural products, which arise from oxidative cleavage of C10eC14 in the parent tricycle 20. In analogous fashion, the neodolabellane structure 22 is produced from 18 by stereospecific backbone migrations that result in the vicinal placement of the bridgehead methyl and isopropyl substituents. Transannular cyclizations, stemming from 22, yield the class of neodolastane diterpenes (23). Trichoaurantianolides and the related lepistal A (5) are the result of oxidations and cleavage of the C-ring (C4eC5) of 23, which leads to the features of an unusual butyrolactone system. The guanacastepenes, such as 24,11 and heptemerones, such as 25,12 are primary examples of the 5e7e6 neodolastane family, and these metabolites have also been isolated from fungi sources. A characteristic structural feature is the vicinal, syn-relationship of the bridgehead methyl and isopropyl sub- stituents as compared with the 1,3-trans relationship found in dolastanes (Fig. 9.2, structures 8 and 9). Guanacastepenes have proven to be attractive targets for synthesis studies.11,13 However, these fungal metabolites exhibit the antipodal, absolute stereochemistry as compared with neodolastanes from marine origins, such as sphaerostanol (26) (Fig. 9.5).14 
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