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Synthetic Approaches to the Microtubule-Stabilizing Sponge Alkaloid Ceratamine A and Desbromo Analogues

TitleSynthetic Approaches to the Microtubule-Stabilizing Sponge Alkaloid Ceratamine A and Desbromo Analogues
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsNodwell, M, Pereira, A, Riffell, JL, Zimmerman, C, Patrick, BO, Roberge, M, Andersen, RJ
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Volume74
Pagination995-1006
Date PublishedFeb
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-3263
Keywords6-PI-2-AZATRIENE ELECTROCYCLIZATION, AGELADINE-A, ANTIMITOTIC AGENTS, ARYL CHLORIDES, DIRECTED LITHIATION, HALIDES, IMIDAZOLE, PACLITAXEL, PALLADIUM-CATALYZED AMINATION, TAXOL
Abstract

Two synthetic approaches to the microtubule-stabilizing ceratamine alkaloids are described. The first approach involved attempts to graft an aminoimidazole moiety onto an azepine ring to form partially hydrogenated versions of the unprecedented aromatic imidazo[4,5-d]azepine core of the ceratamines. This route ultimately failed because it was not possible to aromatize the partially hydrogenated ceratamine intermediates. A second approach started with tribromoimidazole that was sequentially metalated and functionalized to efficiently generate a key imidazole intermediate containing vinyl bromide and amide functionalities. An intramolecular Buchwald vinyl amidation reaction converted this key intermediate into a bicyclic imidazol[4,5-d]azepine that was at the same oxidation state as the aromatic core of the ceratamines. The 2-amino functionality present on the imidazole ring of the ceratamines was installed using a Buchwald/Hartwig amination reaction on a 2-chloroimidazole precursor. Deprotection and aromatization resulted in the first synthesis of desbromoceratamine A (55) and desmethyldesbromoceratamine A (60). An unanticipated addition of atmospheric oxygen was encountered during deprotection of the imidazole ring in the last step of the synthesis leading to C-11 oxygenated ceratamine analogues as byproducts. Evaluation of the synthetic ceratamines in a TG3 cell-based assay for mitotic arrest revealed that the C-14 and C-16 bromine substituents in ceratamine A (1) play a major role in the antimitotic potency of the natural product. The synthetic route to ceratamine analogues has provided sufficient quantities of desbromoceratamine A (55) for testing in mouse models of cancer.

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