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Total Synthesis of Cryptophycins and Their 16-(3-Phenylacryloyl) Derivatives

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journal contribution
posted on 06.09.1996 by Rabindra Rej, Dieu Nguyen, Brian Go, Samuel Fortin, Jean-François Lavallée
Cryptophycin A, a cyclic depsipeptide isolated from the blue-green alga (cyanobacterium) Nostoc sp.GSV 224, has shown excellent activity against solid tumors implanted in mice. The benzylic epoxide, which was shown to be very important for biological activity, is also fairly unstable under both acidic and alkaline conditions. The high doses needed to observe in vivo activity might be a result of this instability. In order to solve this problem while preserving the electrophilic character of the benzylic position, enones 1 and 2 have been proposed as promising analogs of the natural product, and a convergent total synthesis of these compounds is described. In addition, the same strategy was used to prepare Cryptophycins A, B, C, and D.