Total Syntheses and Biological Evaluation of Both Enantiomers of Several Hydroxylated Dimeric Nuphar Alkaloids

Alexander Korotkov, Hui Li, Charles W. Chapman, Haoran Xue, John B. Macmillan, Alan Eastman, Jimmy Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Herein, we describe the first total syntheses of five members of the dimeric nuphar alkaloids: (+)-6,6′-dihydroxythiobinupharidine (+)-1a, (+)-6-hydroxythiobinupharidine (+)-1-b, (-)-6,6′-dihydroxythionuphlutine (-)-2-a, (-)-6,6′-dihydroxyneothiobinupharidine (-)-3a, and (+)-6,6′-dihydroxyneothionuphlutine (+)-4-a. The latter two have not been found in nature. We have also made each of their enantiomers (-)-1a-b, (+)-2a, (+)-3a, and (-)-4a. The key step in these syntheses was the dimerization of an α-aminonitrile (a hydrolytically stable surrogate for its corresponding hemiaminal) with chiral Lewis acid complexes. We have also reassigned the literature structures of (+)-1-a-1b - for those instances in which the NMR spectra were obtained in CD<inf>3</inf>OD - to their corresponding CD<inf>3</inf>O-adducts. Our efforts provide for the first time apoptosis data for (-)-3a, (+)-4a, and all five non-natural enantiomers prepared. The data indicate high apoptotic activity regardless of the enantiomer or relative stereochemical configuration at C7 and C7′. Nuphars are speedy killers: For the first time several of the hydroxylated dimeric nuphar alkaloids and their unnatural enantiomers have been synthesized. First-ever apoptosis data for many of these compounds is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10604-10607
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2015



  • apoptosis
  • cancer
  • caspases
  • nuphar alkaloids
  • total synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Catalysis

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