Concise Asymmetric Syntheses of Radicicol and Monocillin I

Radicicol (<b>1</b>) exhibits potent anticancer properties in vitro, which are likely to be mediated through its high affinity (20 nM) for the molecular chaperone Hsp90. Recently, we reported the results of a synthetic program targeting radicicol (<b>1</b>) and monocillin I (<b>2</b>), highlighted by the application of ring-closing metathesis to macrolide formation. These efforts resulted in a highly convergent synthesis of radicicol dimethyl ether but failed in the removal of the two aryl methyl ethers. Simple exchange of these methyl ethers with more labile functionalities disabled a key esterification in the initial route. Through extended experimentation, a successful route to both natural products was secured, along with some intriguing results that emphasize the implications of this design on a broad range of fused benzoaliphatic targets, including analogues of these natural products.