Natural Organic Acid as Green Catalyst for Xanthenones Synthesis: Methodology, Mechanism and Calcium Channel Blocking Activity

Xanthenones were synthesized via one-pot tricomponent reaction, under solvent-free conditions, using aldehydes, phenolic and cyclic 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds. Natural organic acids (NOAs), compounds present in many living metabolisms, were used as potential green catalysts. NOA are considered to be more eco-friendly and user-friendly alternative to traditional methodologies. Optimization studies showed that oxalic acid was the best NOA catalyst for such reaction furnishing the xanthenones with up to 93% of yield. Theoretical calculations were performed to evaluate this reaction mechanism and regioselectivity. The results showed that the regiospecificity of this three-component reaction is kinetically and thermodynamically controlled by the addition of β-naphthol C2, instead of C10, to the aldehyde. Our results also disclosed two xanthenones as novel calcium channels blockers. Eco-friendly reaction conditions, easy workup procedure, short reaction times and good yields are some of the advantages of our methodology.