The total synthesis of syringolin A and oxidative photoredox catalysis for C-H and C-O bond functionalizations
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Syringolin A, a plant elicitor, was isolated in 1998 and has been identified as a potential anti-cancer compound based on its activity against proteasome. The unique structure of this natural product consists of a 12-membered diamide ring, formed by two non-proteinogenic amino acids 3,4-dehydrolysine and 5-methyl-4-amino-2-hexenoic acid, and a bis(valinyl)urea side chain which is connected to the macrocycle by a peptide bond. The construction of this challenging macrocylic core was achieved by a macrolactamization reaction using peptide coupling reagents BOP/HOAt, while the two (E)-configured double bonds in the ring were introduced by a Johnson-Claisen rearrangement and Wittig olefination respectively. Ru(bpy)3Cl2 which is an excellent visible light photoredox catalyst, has been extensively applied to organic syntheses in recent years. Although much research has focused on the study of the reductive quenching pathway, the oxidative quenching pathway has rarely been explored. Using persulfate as the electron acceptor, we have successfully developed a protocol for the oxidative functionalization of dialkylamides under mild reaction conditions. Further application has demonstrated a Friedel-Crafts amidoalkylation methodology applying various nucleophilic alcohols and arenes. The reaction can also be conducted under thermolysis condition without the photocatalyst, but requires elevated temperature. Both of the reactions generate N-acyliminium ion in situ as the key intermediate. The first example of photocatalytic halogenation has been achieved at room temperature using Ru(bpy)3Cl2 and polyhalomethanes (CBr4 and CHI3) as the electron acceptors. Excellent yields and high functional group tolerance have been established. Mechanistic studies indicate a single electron transfer (SET) pathway and the transformation is via a Vilsmeier-Haack type intermediate. Further expansion of this methodology to anhydride formation was achieved, providing a mild avenue for the synthesis of symmetric anhydrides. Furthermore, the use of a continuous flow reactor enabled the efficient large scale synthesis of anhydrides.