Lessons from the Total Synthesis of (±) Phalarine: Insights Into the Mechanism of the Pictet-Spengler Reaction.
ABSTRACT: The furanobisindole alkaloid, phalarine, possesses a unique structural framework within the alkaloid family of natural products. Our laboratory recently disclosed the racemic total synthesis of phalarine, featuring an efficient azaspiroindolenine rearrangement; this achievement is revisited in detail. Upon completion of the first-generation total synthesis, we explored some interesting mechanism-level issues with regard to the key azaspiroindolenine rearrangement. These investigations provided valuable insights into the mechanism of racemization during the azaspiroindolenine rearrangement en route to synthetic phalarine. In addition, in the course of these studies, we demonstrated the Pictet-Spengler capture reaction for C(2)-aryl indoles, and successfully isolated the elusive azaspiroindolenine intermediate of the Pictet-Spengler reaction. Key insights into the remarkably subtle stereoelectronics that govern this rearrangement for C(2)-arylated indoles are discussed.
Project description:The Pictet-Spengler reaction, which yields either a beta-carboline or a tetrahydroquinoline product from an aromatic amine and an aldehyde, is widely utilized in plant alkaloid biosynthesis. Here we deconvolute the role that the biosynthetic enzyme strictosidine synthase plays in catalyzing the stereoselective synthesis of a beta-carboline product. Notably, the rate-controlling step of the enzyme mechanism, as identified by the appearance of a primary kinetic isotope effect (KIE), is the rearomatization of a positively charged intermediate. The KIE of a nonenzymatic Pictet-Spengler reaction indicates that rearomatization is also rate-controlling in solution, suggesting that the enzyme does not significantly change the mechanism of the reaction. Additionally, the pH dependence of the solution and enzymatic reactions provides evidence for a sequence of acid-base catalysis steps that catalyze the Pictet-Spengler reaction. An additional acid-catalyzed step, most likely protonation of a carbinolamine intermediate, is also significantly rate controlling. We propose that this step is efficiently catalyzed by the enzyme. Structural analysis of a bisubstrate inhibitor bound to the enzyme suggests that the active site is exquisitely tuned to correctly orient the iminium intermediate for productive cyclization to form the diastereoselective product. Furthermore, ab initio calculations suggest the structures of possible productive transition states involved in the mechanism. Importantly, these calculations suggest that a spiroindolenine intermediate, often invoked in the Pictet-Spengler mechanism, does not occur. A detailed mechanism for enzymatic catalysis of the beta-carboline product is proposed from these data.
Project description:A general approach to architecturally stimulating polycyclic structures is described by a concise, two-step procedure including a Ugi MCR (multicomponent reaction) and a subsequent Pictet-Spengler reaction starting from phenylethylamine-derived isocyanides. Ten compounds are described in full experimental detail, and yields range from medium to very good. Some of the reactions run with a high degree of stereoselectivity. The compound structures resemble steroid hormones and alkaloid classes of natural products. Exemplary products have been fully reduced to their tertiary amines. As such they could potentially become interesting biological probes.
Project description:A practical, mild and efficient protocol for the Pictet-Spengler reaction catalyzed by cyanuric chloride (trichloro-1,3,5-triazine, TCT) is described. The 6-endo cyclization of tryptophan/tryptamine and modified Pictet-Spengler substrates with both electron-withdrawing and electron-donating aldehydes was carried out by using a catalytic amount of TCT (10 mol %) in DMSO under a nitrogen atmosphere. TCT catalyzed the Pictet-Spengler reaction involving electron-donating aldehydes in excellent yield. Thus, it has a distinct advantage over the existing methodologies where electron-donating aldehydes failed to undergo 6-endo cyclization. Our methodology provided broad substrate scope and diversity. This is indeed the first report of the use of TCT as a catalyst for the Pictet-Spengler reaction.
Project description:Aldehyde- and ketone-functionalized proteins are appealing substrates for the development of chemically modified biotherapeutics and protein-based materials. Their reactive carbonyl groups are typically conjugated with ?-effect nucleophiles, such as substituted hydrazines and alkoxyamines, to generate hydrazones and oximes, respectively. However, the resulting C=N linkages are susceptible to hydrolysis under physiologically relevant conditions, which limits the utility of such conjugates in biological systems. Here we introduce a Pictet-Spengler ligation that is based on the classic Pictet-Spengler reaction of aldehydes and tryptamine nucleophiles. The ligation exploits the bioorthogonal reaction of aldehydes and alkoxyamines to form an intermediate oxyiminium ion; this intermediate undergoes intramolecular C-C bond formation with an indole nucleophile to form an oxacarboline product that is hydrolytically stable. We used the reaction for site-specific chemical modification of glyoxyl- and formylglycine-functionalized proteins, including an aldehyde-tagged variant of the therapeutic monoclonal antibody Herceptin. In conjunction with techniques for site-specific introduction of aldehydes into proteins, the Pictet-Spengler ligation offers a means to generate stable bioconjugates for medical and materials applications.
Project description:The Pictet-Spengler reaction is a valuable route to 1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-?-carboline (THBC) and isoquinoline scaffolds found in many important pharmaceuticals. Strictosidine synthase (STR) catalyzes the Pictet-Spengler condensation of tryptamine and the aldehyde secologanin to give (S)-strictosidine as a key intermediate in indole alkaloid biosynthesis. STRs also accept short-chain aliphatic aldehydes to give enantioenriched alkaloid products with up to 99% ee STRs are thus valuable asymmetric organocatalysts for applications in organic synthesis. The STR catalysis of reactions of small aldehydes gives an unexpected switch in stereopreference, leading to formation of the (R)-products. Here we report a rationale for the formation of the (R)-configured products by the STR enzyme from Ophiorrhiza pumila (OpSTR) using a combination of X-ray crystallography, mutational, and molecular dynamics (MD) studies. We discovered that short-chain aldehydes bind in an inverted fashion compared to secologanin leading to the inverted stereopreference for the observed (R)-product in those cases. The study demonstrates that the same catalyst can have two different productive binding modes for one substrate but give different absolute configuration of the products by binding the aldehyde substrate differently. These results will guide future engineering of STRs and related enzymes for biocatalytic applications.
Project description:The Pictet-Spengler (PS) reaction constructs plant alkaloids such as morphine and camptothecin, but it has not yet been noticed in the fungal kingdom. Here, a silent fungal Pictet-Spenglerase (FPS) gene of Chaetomium globosum 1C51 residing in Epinephelus drummondhayi guts is described and ascertained to be activable by 1-methyl-L-tryptophan (1-MT). The activated FPS expression enables the PS reaction between 1-MT and flavipin (fungal aldehyde) to form "unnatural" natural products with unprecedented skeletons, of which chaetoglines B and F are potently antibacterial with the latter inhibiting acetylcholinesterase. A gene-implied enzyme inhibition (GIEI) strategy has been introduced to address the key steps for PS product diversifications. In aggregation, the work designs and validates an innovative approach that can activate the PS reaction-based fungal biosynthetic machinery to produce unpredictable compounds of unusual and novel structure valuable for new biology and biomedicine.
Project description:The common para regioselectivity in Pictet-Spengler reactions with dopamine derivatives is redirected to the ortho position by a simple change of solvents. In combination with a chiral auxiliary on nitrogen, this ortho-selective Pictet-Spengler produced the 1-benzyltetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids ( S)-crassifoline and ( S)-norcrassifoline and the bioactive 1,2-dioxygenated tetrahydroprotoberberine alkaloids ( S)-govaniadine, ( S)-caseamine, and ( S)-clarkeanidine with high enantiopurity. Ortho/para ratios up to 89:19 and diastereomeric ratios up to 85:15 were obtained during formation of the B-ring. The general applicability of this solvent-directed regioselectivity was demonstrated with a second Pictet-Spengler reaction as required for C-ring formation of caseamine (o/p = 14:86 in trifluoroethanol) and clarkeanidine (o/p = 86:14 in toluene).
Project description:The development of one-pot imine formation and asymmetric Pictet-Spengler reactions cocatalyzed by a chiral thiourea and benzoic acid is described. Optically active tetrahydro-beta-carbolines, ubiquitous structural motifs in biologically active natural products, are obtained in high ee directly from tryptamine and aldehyde precursors.
Project description:Subsequent mild cyclization of aromatic substrates by Pictet-Spengler condensation stereoselectively gave new tricyclic compounds. Examples are described in decent yields over two steps in one pot, and a crystal structure is also presented to support the proposed structures.
Project description:A novel vinylogous Pictet-Spengler cyclization has been developed for the generation of indole-annulated medium-sized rings. The method enables the synthesis of tetrahydroazocinoindoles with a fully substituted carbon center, a prevalent structural motif in many biologically active alkaloids. The strategy has been applied to the total synthesis of (±)-lundurine?A.