Indexed on: 01 Jul '10Published on: 01 Jul '10Published in: Journal of Organic Chemistry
Synthesis of a C(15)-desmethyl tricycle core of lycopodine has been accomplished. Key steps in the synthetic sequence include organocatalytic, intramolecular Michael addition of a keto sulfone and a tandem 1,3-sulfonyl shift/Mannich cyclization to construct the tricyclic core ring system. Synthetic work toward this natural product family led to the development of N-(p-dodecylphenylsulfonyl)-2-pyrrolidinecarboxamide, an organocatalyst which facilitates enantioselective, intramolecular Michael additions. A detailed mechanistic discussion is provided for both the intramolecular Michael addition and the sulfone rearrangement. Finally, the application of these discoveries to the enantioselective total synthesis of alkaloid lycopodine is described.