Total Synthesis of (+)-Granatumine A and Related Bislactone Limonoid Alkaloids via a Pyran to Pyridine Interconversion

We report the first total synthesis of (+)-granatumine A, a limonoid alkaloid with PTP-1B inhibitory activity, in 10 steps. Over the course of this study, two key methodological advances were made: a cost effective procedure for ketone alpha,beta-dehydrogenation using allyl-Pd catalysis, and a Pd-catalyzed protocol to convert epoxyketones to 1,3-diketones. The central tetrasubstituted pyridine is formed by a convergent Knoevenagel condensation and carbonyl-selective electrocyclization cascade, which was followed by a direct transformation of a 2<i>H</i>-pyran to a pyridine. These studies have led to the structural revision of two members of this family.