The Total Synthesis of Rhabdastrellic Acid A

The first total synthesis of rhabdastrellic acid A, a highly cytotoxic isomalabaricane triterpenoid, has been accomplished in a linear sequence of 14 steps from commercial geranylacetone. The prominently strained trans-syn-trans-perhydrobenz[e]indene core characteristic of the isomalabaricanes is efficiently accessed in a selective manner for the first time through a rapid, complexity-generating sequence incorporating a reductive radical polyene cyclization, an unprecedented oxidative Rautenstrauch cycloisomerization, and umpolung 𝛼-substitution of a p-toluenesulfonylhydrazone with in situ reductive transposition. A late-stage cross-coupling in concert with a modular approach to polyunsaturated side chains renders this a general strategy for the synthesis of numerous family members of these synthetically challenging and hitherto inaccessible marine triterpenoids.