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Development of a Modular Synthetic Route to (+)-Pleuromutilin, (+)-12-epi-Mutilins, and Related Structures

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posted on 19.10.2017, 00:00 by Mingshuo Zeng, Stephen K. Murphy, Seth B. Herzon
We describe the development of an enantioselective synthetic route to (+)-pleuromutilin (1), (+)-12-epi-mutilin, and related derivatives. A key hydrindanone was prepared in three steps and 48% overall yield from cyclohex-2-en-1-one. 1,4-Hydrocyanation provided a nitrile (53%, or 85% based on recovered starting material) that was converted to the eneimide 57 in 80% yield by the 1,2-addition of methyllithium to the nitrile function, cyclization, and in situ acylation with di-tert-butyldicarbonate. The eneimide 57 was employed in a 2-fold neopentylic coupling reaction with an organolithium reagent derived from the alkyl iodides (R)- or (S)-30, which contain the C11–C13 atoms of the target, to provide diastereomeric diketones in 60% or 48% yield (for coupling with (R)- or (S)-30, respectively). The diketone derived from (S)-30 contains the (S)-C12 stereochemistry found in pleuromutilin and was elaborated to an alkynylaldehyde. Nickel-catalyzed reductive cyclization of this alkynylaldehyde, to construct the eight-membered ring of the target, unexpectedly provided a cyclopentene (67%), which arises from participation of the C12-α-olefin in the transformation. The diketone derived from the enantiomeric C12-fragment (R)-30 underwent reductive cyclization to provide the desired product in 60% yield. This was elaborated to 12-epi-mutilin by a four-step sequence (39% overall). Installation of the glycolic acid residue followed by C12 epimerization (Berner et al. Monatsh. Chem. 1986, 117, 1073) generated (+)-pleuromutilin (1). (+)-12-epi-Pleuromutilin and (+)-11,12-di-epi-pleuromutilin were prepared by related sequences. This work establishes a convergent entry to the pleuromutilins and provides a foundation for the production of novel antibiotics to treat drug-resistant and Gram-negative infections.