Stereocontrolled Synthesis of Melokhanine E via an Intramolecular Formal [3+2] Cycloaddition

A convergent sequence to access the indole alkaloid melokhanine E in 12-steps (8-step longest linear sequence) and an 11% overall yield is reported. The approach utilizes two cyclopropane moieties as reactive precursors to a 1,3-dipole and imine species to enable stereoselective construction of the core scaffold through a formal [3+2] cycloaddition. The natural product was evaluated for its antimicrobial activity based on isolation reports; however, no activity was observed. The reported efforts serve as a synthetic platform to prepare an array of alkaloids bearing this core structural motif.