Asymmetric Synthesis of Both Enantiomers of Arteludovicinolide A

The first total synthesis of either enantiomer of Arteludovicinolide A and their biological evaluation is reported, featuring a new strategy for the asymmetric construction of γ-butyrolactones with stereogenic side chains in the 4-position. Starting from the renewable resource methyl 2-furoate, the sesquiterpene lactone was synthesized in 9 steps and 4.8% overall yield <i>via</i> an asymmetric cyclopropanation and two diastereoselective nucleophile additions making use of a donor-acceptor-cyclopropane-lactonization cascade. At noncytotoxic concentrations (≤10 μM) (+)-<b>1</b> was found to have a 15 times higher <i>anti</i>-inflammatory activity (4.87 ± 1.1 μM) than previously reported for concentrations of ≥45 μM.