Asymmetric Synthesis of the Aminocyclitol Pactamycin, a Universal Translocation Inhibitor

An asymmetric total synthesis of the aminocyclopentitol pactamycin is described. The title compound is delivered in 15 steps from 2,4-pentanedione. Critical to this approach was the exploitation of a complex symmetry-breaking reduction strategy to assemble the C1, C2, and C7 relative stereochemistry within the first four steps of the synthesis. Multiple iterations of this reduction strategy are described, and a thorough analysis of stereochemical outcomes is detailed. In the final case, an asymmetric Mannich reaction was developed to install a protected amine directly at the C2 position. Symmetry-breaking reduction of this material gave way to a remarkable series of stereochemical outcomes leading to the title compound without recourse to nonstrategic downstream manipulations. This synthesis is immediately accommodating to the preparation of structural analogs.