Organic Chemistry

Synthesis of Cardiotonic Steroids Oleandrigenin and Rhodexin B



This article describes a concise synthesis of cardiotonic steroids oleandrigenin (7) and its subsequent elaboration into the natural product rhodexin B (2) from the readily available intermediate (8) that could be derived from the commercially available steroids testosterone or DHEA via 3 step sequences. These studies feature an expedient installation of the β16-oxidation based on β14-hydroxyl directed epoxidation and subsequent epoxide rearrangement. The following singlet oxygen oxidation of the C17 furan moiety provides access to oleandrigenin (7) in 12 steps (LLS) and 3.9% overall yield from 8. The synthetic oleandrigenin (7) was successfully glycosylated with L-rhamnopyranoside-based donor using Pd(II)-catalyst, and the subsequent deprotection under acidic conditions provided cytotoxic natural product rhodexin B (2) in 68% yield (2 steps).

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Supplementary material

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Final Supporting Information Spectra