Isolation, structural assignment and synthesis of (<i>S</i><i>E</i>)-2-methyloctyl 3-(4-methoxyphenyl) propenoate from the marine soft coral <i>Sarcophyton ehrenbergi</i>

<div><p>A new metabolite <b>1</b> has been isolated from the marine soft coral <i>Sarcophyton ehrenbergi</i> along with two known diterpenoids <b>2</b> and <b>3</b> and cholesterol <b>4</b>. The structure of <b>1</b> was determined by means of detailed spectroscopic analysis and unambiguously confirmed to have the <i>S</i> configuration by the synthesis of both enantiomers using 4-benzyl-2-oxazolidinone auxiliaries. (<i>S</i>)- and (<i>R</i>)-<b>1</b>, <b>3</b> and some of the synthetic intermediates were evaluated for cytotoxic activity against human lung cancer (A549), prostate cancer (DU145), cervical cancer (HeLa) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cell lines in an <i>in vitro</i> bioassay.</p></div>