Total synthesis and biological evaluation of simplified aplyronine analogues as synthetically tractable anticancer agents†
The aplyronines are a family of highly cytotoxic marine natural products with potential application in targeted cancer chemotherapy. To address the severe supply issue, function-oriented molecular editing of their macrolactone scaffold led to the design of a series of simplified aplyronine analogues. Enabled by a highly convergent aldol-based route, the total synthesis of four analogues was achieved, with a significant improvement in step economy versus previous compounds, and their cancer cell growth inhibition in the HeLa cell line was determined. The modular strategy presented offers a means for significantly shortening their chemical synthesis to facilitate the continued development of this promising class of anticancer agent.