Total Synthesis of Verruculogen and Fumitremorgin A Enabled by Ligand-Controlled C-H Borylation.
ABSTRACT: Verruculogen and fumitremorgin A are bioactive alkaloids that contain a unique eight-membered endoperoxide. Although related natural products such as fumitremorgins B and C have been previously synthesized, we report the first synthesis of the more complex, endoperoxide-containing members of this family. A concise route to verruculogen and fumitremorgin A relied not only on a hydroperoxide/indole hemiaminal cyclization, but also on the ability to access the seemingly simple starting material, 6-methoxytryptophan. An iridium-catalyzed C-H borylation/Chan-Lam procedure guided by an N-TIPS group enabled the conversion of a tryptophan derivative into a 6-methoxytryptophan derivative, proving to be a general way to functionalize the C6 position of an N,C3-disubstituted indole for the synthesis of indole-containing natural products and pharmaceuticals.
Project description:14C-Labelled compound TR-2, a tremorgenic mycotoxin, was administered to Penicillium raistrickii in submerged fermentation. Half of the added radiolabel was taken up by the fungus during the 60 h incubation period and the secondary metabolites subsequently isolated, principally verruculogen but also fumitremorgin B, were found to be radiolabelled. The efficiency of biosynthetic incorporation of TR-2 into verruculogen within the mycelium was at least 35%, demonstrating for the first time an intermediary role for TR-2. Fumitremorgin B was also TR-2-derived but may not be an important intermediate in verruculogen biosynthesis.
Project description:The identity of metabolites encoded by the majority of nonribosomal peptide synthetases in the opportunistic pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, remains outstanding. We found that the nonribosomal peptide (NRP) synthetases PesL and Pes1 were essential for fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, the end product of the complex ergot alkaloid (EA) pathway in A. fumigatus. Deletion of either pesL (?pesL) or pes1 (?pes1) resulted in complete loss of fumigaclavine C biosynthesis, relatively increased production of fumitremorgins such as TR-2, fumitremorgin C and verruculogen, increased sensitivity to H(2)O(2), and increased sensitivity to the antifungals, voriconazole, and amphotericin B. Deletion of pesL resulted in severely reduced virulence in an invertebrate infection model (P < 0.001). These findings indicate that NRP synthesis plays an essential role in mediating the final prenylation step of the EA pathway, despite the apparent absence of NRP synthetases in the proposed EA biosynthetic cluster for A. fumigatus. Liquid chromatography/diode array detection/mass spectrometry analysis also revealed the presence of fumiquinazolines A to F in both A. fumigatus wild-type and ?pesL strains. This observation suggests that alternative NRP synthetases can also function in fumiquinazoline biosynthesis, since PesL has been shown to mediate fumiquinazoline biosynthesis in vitro. Furthermore, we provide here the first direct link between EA biosynthesis and virulence, in agreement with the observed toxicity associated with EA exposure. Finally, we demonstrate a possible cluster cross-talk phenomenon, a theme which is beginning to emerge in the literature.
Project description:Many peroxy-containing secondary metabolites have been isolated and shown to provide beneficial effects to human health. Yet, the mechanisms of most endoperoxide biosyntheses are not well understood. Although endoperoxides have been suggested as key reaction intermediates in several cases, the only well-characterized endoperoxide biosynthetic enzyme is prostaglandin H synthase, a haem-containing enzyme. Fumitremorgin B endoperoxidase (FtmOx1) from Aspergillus fumigatus is the first reported ?-ketoglutarate-dependent mononuclear non-haem iron enzyme that can catalyse an endoperoxide formation reaction. To elucidate the mechanistic details for this unique chemical transformation, we report the X-ray crystal structures of FtmOx1 and the binary complexes it forms with either the co-substrate (?-ketoglutarate) or the substrate (fumitremorgin B). Uniquely, after ?-ketoglutarate has bound to the mononuclear iron centre in a bidentate fashion, the remaining open site for oxygen binding and activation is shielded from the substrate or the solvent by a tyrosine residue (Y224). Upon replacing Y224 with alanine or phenylalanine, the FtmOx1 catalysis diverts from endoperoxide formation to the more commonly observed hydroxylation. Subsequent characterizations by a combination of stopped-flow optical absorption spectroscopy and freeze-quench electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy support the presence of transient radical species in FtmOx1 catalysis. Our results help to unravel the novel mechanism for this endoperoxide formation reaction.
Project description:Hydrogen-atom transfer (HAT) from a substrate carbon to an iron(IV)-oxo (ferryl) intermediate initiates a diverse array of enzymatic transformations. For outcomes other than hydroxylation, coupling of the resultant carbon radical and hydroxo ligand (oxygen rebound) must generally be averted. A recent study of FtmOx1, a fungal iron(II)- and 2-(oxo)glutarate-dependent oxygenase that installs the endoperoxide of verruculogen by adding O2 between carbons 21 and 27 of fumitremorgin B, posited that tyrosine (Tyr or Y) 224 serves as HAT intermediary to separate the C21 radical (C21•) and Fe(III)-OH HAT products and prevent rebound. Our reinvestigation of the FtmOx1 mechanism revealed, instead, direct HAT from C21 to the ferryl complex and surprisingly competitive rebound. The C21-hydroxylated (rebound) product, which undergoes deprenylation, predominates when low [O2] slows C21•-O2 coupling in the next step of the endoperoxidation pathway. This pathway culminates with addition of the C21-O-O• peroxyl adduct to olefinic C27 followed by HAT to the C26• from a Tyr. The last step results in sequential accumulation of Tyr radicals, which are suppressed without detriment to turnover by inclusion of the reductant, ascorbate. Replacement of each of four candidates for the proximal C26 H• donor (including Y224) with phenylalanine (F) revealed that only the Y68F variant (i) fails to accumulate the first Tyr• and (ii) makes an altered major product, identifying Y68 as the donor. The implied proximities of C21 to the iron cofactor and C26 to Y68 support a new docking model of the enzyme-substrate complex that is consistent with all available data.
Project description:Herein, the full details of the synthesis of the 9-methoxy-substituted Corynanthe indole alkaloids mitragynine (1), 9-methoxygeissoschizol (3), and 9-methoxy-N(b)-methylgeissoschizol (4) are described. Initially, an efficient synthetic route to the optically active 4-methoxytryptophan ethyl ester 20 on a multigram scale was developed via a Mori-Ban-Hegedus indole synthesis. The ethyl ester of D-4-methoxytryptophan 20 was obtained with a radical-mediated regioselective bromination of indoline 12 serving as a key step. Alternatively, the key 4-methoxytryptophan intermediate 22 could be synthesized by the Larock heteroannulation of aryl iodide 10b with the internal alkyne 21a. The use of the Boc-protected aniline 10b was crucial to the success of this heteroannulation. The alpha,beta-unsaturated ester 6 was synthesized via the Pictet-Spengler reaction as the pivotal step. This was followed by a Ni(COD)(2)-mediated cyclization to set up the stereocenter at C-15. The benzyloxy group in 31 was removed to provide the intermediate ester 5. This chiral tetracyclic ester 5 was employed to accomplish the first total synthesis of 9-methoxygeissoschizol (3) and 9-methoxy-N(b)-methylgeissoschizol (4) as well as the opioid agonistic indole alkaloid mitragynine (1).
Project description:A europium(III) DOTA-tetraamide complex was designed as a MRI sensor of singlet oxygen ((1)O2). The water soluble, thermodynamically stable complex reacts rapidly with (1)O2 to form an endoperoxide derivative that results in an ?3 ppm shift in the position of the Eu(III)-bound water chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) peak. The potential of using this probe to detect accumulation of the endoperoxide derivative in biological media by ratiometric CEST imaging was demonstrated.
Project description:The aromatic prenyltransferase dimethylallyltryptophan synthase in Claviceps purpurea catalyzes the normal prenylation of tryptophan at C4 of the indole nucleus in the first committed step of ergot alkaloid biosynthesis. 4-Methyltryptophan is a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme that has been used in kinetic studies. Upon investigation of background activity during incubations of 4-methyltryptophan with dimethylallyl diphosphate, we found that the analogue was an alternate substrate, which gave four products. The structures of three of these compounds were established by (1)H NMR and 2D NMR studies and revealed that dimethylallyltryptophan synthase catalyzed both normal and reverse prenylation at C3 of the indole ring and normal prenylation of N1. Similarly, 4-methoxytryptophan was an alternate substrate, giving normal prenylation at C5 as the major product. 4-Aminotryptophan, another alternate substrate, gave normal prenylation at C5 and C7. The ability of dimethylallyltryptophan synthase to prenylate at five different sites on the indole nucleus, with normal and reverse prenylation at one of the sites, is consistent with a dissociative electrophilic alkylation of the indole ring, where orientation of the substrates within the active site and substituent electronic effects determine the position and type of prenylation. These results suggest a common mechanism for prenylation of tryptophan by all of the members of the structurally related dimethylallyltryptophan synthase family.
Project description:Seven new prenylated indole alkaloids, taichunamides?A-G, were isolated from the fungus Aspergillus taichungensis (IBT 19404). Taichunamides?A and B contained an azetidine and 4-pyridone units, respectively, and are likely biosynthesized from notoamide?S via (+)-6-epi-stephacidin?A. Taichunamides?C and D contain endoperoxide and methylsulfonyl units, respectively. This fungus produced indole alkaloids containing an anti-bicyclo[2.2.2]diazaoctane core, whereas A. protuberus and A. amoenus produced congeners with a syn-bicyclo[2.2.2]diazaoctane core. Plausible biosynthetic pathways to access these cores within the three species likely arise from an intramolecular hetero Diels-Alder reaction.
Project description:Nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling has emerged as the most versatile approach to date for achieving enantioconvergent carbon-carbon bond formation using racemic alkyl halides as electrophiles. In contrast, there have not yet been reports of the application of chiral nickel catalysts to the corresponding reactions with heteroatom nucleophiles to produce carbon-heteroatom bonds with good enantioselectivity. Herein, we establish that a chiral nickel/pybox catalyst can borylate racemic secondary benzylic chlorides to provide enantioenriched benzylic boronic esters, a highly useful family of compounds in organic synthesis. The method displays good functional group compatibility (e.g., being unimpeded by the presence of an indole, a ketone, a tertiary amine, or an unactivated alkyl bromide), and both of the catalyst components (NiCl2 ?glyme and the pybox ligand) are commercially available.
Project description:The tyrosine O-prenyltransferase SirD in Leptosphaeria maculans catalyzes normal prenylation of the hydroxyl group in tyrosine as the first committed step in the biosynthesis of the phytotoxin sirodesmin PL. SirD also catalyzes normal N-prenylation of 4-aminophenylalanine and normal C-prenylation at C7 of tryptophan. In this study, we found that 4-mercaptophenylalanine and several derivatives of tryptophan are also substrates for prenylation by dimethylallyl diphosphate. Incubation of SirD with 4-mercaptophenylalanine gave normal S-prenylated mercaptophenylalanine. We found that incubation of the enzyme with tryptophan gave reverse prenylation at N1 in addition to the previously reported normal prenylation at C7. 4-Methyltryptophan also gave normal prenylation at C7 and reverse prenylation at N1, whereas 4-methoxytryptophan gave normal and reverse prenylation at C7, and 7-methyltryptophan gave normal prenylation at C6 and reverse prenylation at N1. The ability of SirD to prenylate at three different sites on the indole nucleus, with normal and reverse prenylation at one of the sites, is similar to behavior seen for dimethylallyltryptophan synthase. The multiple products produced by SirD suggests it and dimethylallyltryptophan synthase use a dissociative electrophilic mechanism for alkylation of amino acid substrates.