A strategy for the synthesis of members of the prenylated indole alkaloid family is described, which involves a radical cascade process of an appropriately substituted diketopiperazine (DKP) core structure. Several approaches to the generation of the initial radical were explored, with the most successful involving treatment of a sulfenyl substituted DKP under classical reductive conditions by heating with Bu3SnH and a radical initiator. The required, fully substituted, radical precursor DKP structures were prepared using regio- and stereocontrolled enolate chemistry of simpler proline-tryptophan derived DKPs. The new approach allowed rapid access to a key polycyclic indoline structure, which was converted into either of the natural products stephacidin A or notoamide B.
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Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
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