Asymmetric Total Synthesis of the Pentacyclic Indole Alkaloid (+)-Tacamonine

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
(+)-Tacamonine, a natural product isolated from the Central African plant Tabernaemontana eglandulosa, belongs to the relatively new tacaman class of pentacyclic monoterpenoid indole alkaloids. Its close structural similarity to the potent cerebral vasodilator (-)-vincamone has promoted several efforts towards its synthesis, culminating in the appearance of two asymmetric and seven racemic syntheses in the literature. This dissertation details the successful execution of our strategy for the concise, highly-efficient, asymmetric total synthesis of (+)-tacamonine. Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the tacaman class, including the proposed biosynthesis for members of this class, followed by a review of the reported synthetic approaches to tacamonine. Chapter 2 details the evolution of our approach based on the use of key radical cyclization methodology to ultimately accomplish a total synthesis of the target. An investigation of the diastereoselectivity displayed in the radical cyclization step is also described through computational methods. Our route followed a novel ABC to ABCD to ABCDE ring-construction strategy, which first involved the synthesis of 3,4-dihydro--carboline as well as a chiral acid ester fragment that was acquired through Evans’ auxiliary-controlled alkylation chemistry. The latter set the absolute configuration at C-20 bearing the ethyl group in the D-ring, and thereafter, the two fragments were coupled together before being advanced to the radical cyclization precursor. Radical cyclization then led to the formation of the desired cis D/Ering junction in a diastereomeric ratio of 10:1, the major diastereomer displaying the required C-3/C-14 to C-20 anti-diastereoselectivity. Subsequent global reduction and oxidation/E-ring formation processes afforded the target in 8 steps over 10 operations in 25% overall yield and in 96% enantiomeric excess. X-Ray crystallographic structure determination provided conclusive evidence for the formation of the target.