The first total synthesis of incednam (1), the aglycon of antibiotic incednine (2), is described. Incednine has been reported to exhibit significant inhibitory activity against the antiapoptotic oncoproteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. The synthesis of 1 commenced with the preparation of the C1-C13 subunit 3 and the C14-C23 subunit 4. The construction of the novel 24-membered macrocycle was achieved by the application of a Stille coupling between 3 and 4, followed by macrolactamization.
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