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Modular Synthesis and Biological Investigation of 5-Hydroxymethyl Dibenzyl Butyrolactones and Related Lignans

Davidson, Samuel J and Pilkington, Lisa I and Dempsey-Hibbert, Nina C and El-Mohtadi, Mohamed and Tang, Shiying and Wainwright, Thomas and Whitehead, Kathryn A and Barker, David (2018) Modular Synthesis and Biological Investigation of 5-Hydroxymethyl Dibenzyl Butyrolactones and Related Lignans. Molecules, 23 (12). ISSN 1420-3049

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Abstract

Dibenzyl butyrolactone lignans are well known for their excellent biological properties, particularly for their notable anti-proliferative activities. Herein we report a novel, efficient, convergent synthesis of dibenzyl butyrolactone lignans utilizing the acyl-Claisen rearrangement to stereoselectively prepare a key intermediate. The reported synthetic route enables the modification of these lignans to give rise to 5-hydroxymethyl derivatives of these lignans. The biological activities of these analogues were assessed, with derivatives showing an excellent cytotoxic profile which resulted in programmed cell death of Jurkat T-leukemia cells with less than 2% of the incubated cells entering a necrotic cell death pathway.

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