Total Synthesis, Stereochemical Assignment, and Biological Activity of All Known (−)-Trigonoliimines

A full account of our concise and enantioselective total syntheses of all known (−)-trigonoliimine alkaloids is described. Our retrobiosynthetic analysis of these natural products enabled identification of a single bistryptamine precursor as a precursor to all known trigonoliimines through a sequence of transformations involving asymmetric oxidation and reorganization. Our enantioselective syntheses of these alkaloids enabled the revision of the absolute stereochemistry of (−)-trigonoliimines A, B, and C. We report that trigonoliimines A, B, C and structurally related compounds showed weak anticancer activities against HeLa and U-937 cells.