Synthesis and biological assessment of 3,7-dihydroxytropolones†
3,7-Dihydroxytropolones (3,7-dHTs) are highly oxygenated troponoids that have been identified as lead compounds for several human diseases. To date, structure–function studies on these molecules have been limited due to a scarcity of synthetic methods for their preparation. New synthetic strategies towards structurally novel 3,7-dHTs would be valuable in further studying their therapeutic potential. Here we describe the successful adaptation of a [5 + 2] oxidopyrilium cycloaddition/ring-opening for 3,7-dHT synthesis, which we apply in the synthesis of a plausible biosynthetic intermediate to the natural products puberulic and puberulonic acid. We have also tested these new compounds in several biological assays related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) in order to gain insight into structure-functional analysis related to antiviral troponoid development.