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Total Synthesis and Absolute Configuration of the Guaiane Sesquiterpene Englerin A


  • We thank the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie for a Dozentenstipendium (M.C.), the DAAD for a research fellowship (M.W.), Symrise GmbH und Co. KG (Holzminden) for a generous donation of nepetalactone, and Dr. Hans-Dieter Arndt for support and helpful discussions.


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Catnip craze: Nepetalactone, the psychoactive ingredient of catmint, was selected as starting material for the first enantioselective synthesis of englerin A. This cytotoxic guaiane sesquiterpene is a highly selective inhibitor (1–87 nM) of several renal cancer cell lines. The absolute configuration of this natural product was determined by total synthesis.

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