Total Syntheses of Yingzhaosu A and of Its C(14)-Epimer Including the First Evaluation of Their Antimalarial and Cytotoxic Activities

The molecular structure of the naturally occurring antimalarial agent yingzhaosu A (<b>1</b>) is characterized by a 2,3-dioxabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane system (<b>3a</b>), an allylic alcohol, a homoallylic alcohol, and five stereogenic centers. Herein we report on the total synthesis of yingzhaosu A (<b>1</b>) in eight steps and 7.3% overall yield starting from (<i>S</i>)-limonene (<b>12</b>). To maximize efficacy, the bridged bicyclic endoperoxide molecular core was constructed by a multicomponent free-radical domino reaction in which five bonds are formed in a single operation. In addition, reaction protocols that are compatible with the sensitivity of the peroxide function to strong basic and nucleophilic reagents as well as to reducing agents were employed. An intriguing step involved the selective hydrogenation of a carbon−carbon double bond in the presence of a peroxide and an aldehyde function to give aldehyde peroxide <b>7</b>. The two major synthons (aldehydoperoxide <b>7</b> and its complementary five-carbon atom unit <b>35</b>) were linked through a Mukaiyama aldol reaction followed by in situ dehydration under mild buffered basic conditions. The carbonyl group in the resulting peroxidic enone <b>39</b> was stereoselectively reduced with either <i>R</i>-CBS catalyst (<b>42b</b>) to give, after in situ desilylation, yingzhaosu A (<b>1</b>) or with <i>S</i>-CBS catalyst (<b>42a</b>) its C(14)-epimer <b>40</b>. The first quantitative in vitro and in vivo data for the antimalarial activity of yingzhaosu A (<b>1</b>) and its C(14)-epimer <b>40</b> are reported. The C(14)-epiyingzhaosu A (<b>40</b>) exhibits potent cytotoxic activity against the KB nasal-pharyngeal cancer cell line in vitro.