Integration Of Fermentation And Organic Synthesis: Studies Of Roquefortine C And Biosynthetic Derivatives

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Indole alkaloid
Organic Chemistry
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Roquefortine C is one of the most ubiquitous indoline alkaloids of fungal origin. It has been isolated from over 30 different species of Penicillium fungi and has garnered attention in recent years for its role as a biosynthetic precursor to the triazaspirocyclic natural products glandicoline B, meleagrin, and oxaline. The triazaspirocyclic motif, which encompasses three nitrogen atoms attached to one quaternary carbon forming a spirocyclic scaffold, is a unique chemical moiety that has been shown to impart a wide array of biological activity, from anti-bacterial activity and antiproliferative activity against cancer cell lines to anti-biofouling against marine organisms. Despite the promise of these compounds in the pharmaceutical and materials industries, few syntheses of triazaspirocycles exist in the literature. The biosynthesis of roquefortine C-derived triazaspirocycles, however, provides inspiration for the synthesis of these compounds, namely through a nitrone-promoted transannular rearrangement. This type of internal rearrangement has never been carried out synthetically and would provide an efficient stereoselective synthesis of triazaspirocycles. This work encompasses efforts towards elucidating the biosynthetic pathway of roquefortine C-derived triazaspirocycles as well as synthetic efforts towards the construction of triazaspirocycles. Chapter 1 will discuss a large-scale fermentation procedure for the production of roquefortine C from Penicillium crustosum. Chapters 2 and 3 explore (through enzymatic and synthetic means, respectively) the formation of the key indoline nitrone moiety required for the proposed transannular rearrangement. Finally, chapter 4 will discuss synthetic efforts towards the synthesis of triazaspirocycles. This work has considerably enhanced our understanding of the roquefortine C biosynthetic pathway and the unique chemistry of this natural product, and our efforts towards the synthesis of triazaspirocycles will facilitate the use of these compounds in numerous applications.

Madeleine M. Joullie
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