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Short Total Synthesis of [15N5]‑Cylindrospermopsins from 15NH4Cl Enables Precise Quantification of Freshwater Cyanobacterial Contamination

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posted on 19.04.2018 by Artur K. Mailyan, Joanna L. Chen, Weiwei Li, Arturo A. Keller, Shawn M. Sternisha, Brian G. Miller, Armen Zakarian
Fresh water cyanobacterial algal blooms represent a major health risk because these organisms produce cylindrospermopsin, a toxic, structurally complex, zwitterionic uracil-guanidine alkaloid recognized by the EPA as a dangerous drinking water contaminant. At present, the ability to detect and quantify the presence of cylindrospermospin in water samples is severely hampered by the lack of an isotopically labeled standard for analytical mass spectrometry. Herein, we present a concise, scaled total synthesis of 15N cylindrospermosin from 15N ammonium chloride, which leverages a unique stereoselective intramolecular double conjugate addition step to assemble the tricyclic guanidine core. In addition to providing the first pure isotopically labeled probe for precise quantification of this potent biotoxin in fresh water sources, our results demonstrate how unique constraints associated with isotope incorporation compel novel solutions to synthesis design.