This work was supported by the NIH GH44154. We thank Dr. G.-J. Shen for the preparation of 2-deoxyribose-5-phosphate aldolase (DERA) and Dr. D.-H. Huang and Dr. L. B. Pasternack for NMR assistance.
Enzymatic reactions catalyzed by DERA provide the basis for a new strategy for the synthesis of novel pyranose synthons. The utility of this very convergent and effective method is demonstrated by the concise total synthesis of epothilones (see scheme; DERA=2-deoxyribose-5-phosphate aldolase).