Chemical synthesis of natural products inspired by their biogenesis is appealing due to the possibility to formulate biosynthetic hypotheses and invent the appropriate synthetic methodology to access synthetic targets. The proposed chemical synthesis studies should lead to the identification of novel, bioactive molecules and pharmacological tools. The overall goal of the project is to develop and refine biomimetic syntheses using copper-mediated enantioselective oxidation processes (Project 1), photochemical cycloaddition employing excited state intramolecular proton transfer (ESIPT) (Project 2), and asymmetric reactions of acylphloroglucinols (Project 3). Professor Porco and colleagues will apply these methodologies to the chemical synthesis of complex natural products including bisorbicillinol, sorbicillactone A, aglaiastatin, ponapensin, and myrtucommulones A and B. A collaboration in place with Professor Linda Doerrer (Boston University) will continue mechanistic investigations to understand the copper-mediated enantioselective oxygenase and oxidase processes. Likewise, a continuing collaboration with Professor Eric N. Jacobsen and coworkers (Harvard University) will seek to identify chiral thiourea photocatalysts for asymmetric photocycloadditions. Collaborations are also in place with biological collaborators including Dr. John A. Beutler (National Cancer Institute) and Professor Jerry Pelletier (McGill University) to evaluate compounds as anticancer agents and protein translation inhibitors.
The aims of the proposed project are to: 1) Synthesize the telomerase inhibitor (-) diazaphilonic acid, achieve the enantioselective syntheses of bisorbicillinol and bisvertilone using asymmetric oxidative dearomatization, achieve the enantioselective synthesis of the antileukemic agent sorbicillactone A, undertake mechanistic studies for copper-mediated oxidations using UV and Raman spectroscopy, and develop asymmetric oxidative dimerization of hydroxystyrene monomers to access 2,3-dihydrobenzofuran natural products. 2) Develop catalytic asymmetric photocycloaddition approaches to rocaglamide and related natural products employing chiral thioureas, achieve the syntheses of the aglain natural products ponapensin and foveoglin A and the rocaglates aglaiastatin and aglaroxin, and evaluate rocaglate and aglain compounds as protein translation inhibitors. 3) Develop asymmetric syntheses of the acylphloroglucinol natural products myrtucommulones A and B using chiral phase transfer catalysis and synthesize the natural product bullataketal A.

Public Health Relevance

This competing renewal application reflects the continuing interest of the Principal Investigator, John A. Porco, Jr., and colleagues in new chemical reaction development and synthesis of biorelevant molecules using approaches inspired by the biogenesis of complex natural products. The planned syntheses of complex natural products and derivatives are highly relevant to public health by facilitating identification of novel, bioactive molecules. The products of the proposed research ultimately should be useful as novel pharmacological tools and cytotoxic agents for treatment of various prevalent human malignancies, including human cancers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project (R01)
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Synthetic and Biological Chemistry B Study Section (SBCB)
Program Officer
Lees, Robert G
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Boston University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Lajkiewicz, Neil J; Cognetta 3rd, Armand B; Niphakis, Micah J et al. (2014) Remodeling natural products: chemistry and serine hydrolase activity of a rocaglate-derived ?-lactone. J Am Chem Soc 136:2659-64
Boyce, Jonathan H; Porco Jr, John A (2014) Asymmetric, stereodivergent synthesis of (-)-clusianone utilizing a biomimetic cationic cyclization. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 53:7832-7
Grenning, Alexander J; Boyce, Jonathan H; Porco Jr, John A (2014) Rapid synthesis of polyprenylated acylphloroglucinol analogs via dearomative conjunctive allylic annulation. J Am Chem Soc 136:11799-804
Wolfe, Andrew L; Singh, Kamini; Zhong, Yi et al. (2014) RNA G-quadruplexes cause eIF4A-dependent oncogene translation in cancer. Nature 513:65-70
Robert, Francis; Roman, William; Bramoullé, Alexandre et al. (2014) Translation initiation factor eIF4F modifies the dexamethasone response in multiple myeloma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:13421-6
Zhu, Lijia; Qi, Ji; Chiao, Christine Ya-Chi et al. (2014) Identification of a novel polyprenylated acylphloroglucinol?derived SIRT1 inhibitor with cancer?specific anti-proliferative and invasion-suppressing activities. Int J Oncol 45:2128-36
Qi, Chao; Qin, Tian; Suzuki, Daisuke et al. (2014) Total synthesis and stereochemical assignment of (±)-sorbiterrin A. J Am Chem Soc 136:3374-7
Jin, C; Rajabi, H; Rodrigo, C M et al. (2013) Targeting the eIF4A RNA helicase blocks translation of the MUC1-C oncoprotein. Oncogene 32:2179-88
Nasr, Z; Robert, F; Porco Jr, J A et al. (2013) eIF4F suppression in breast cancer affects maintenance and progression. Oncogene 32:861-71
Sadlish, Heather; Galicia-Vazquez, Gabriela; Paris, C Gregory et al. (2013) Evidence for a functionally relevant rocaglamide binding site on the eIF4A-RNA complex. ACS Chem Biol 8:1519-27

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