Is There No End to the Total Syntheses of Strychnine? Lessons Learned in Strategy and Tactics in Total Synthesis



From the 19th century to the present, the complex indole alkaloid strychnine has engaged the chemical community. In this Review, we examine why strychnine has been and remains today an important target for directed synthesis efforts. A selection of the diverse syntheses of strychnine is discussed with the aim of identifying their influence on the evolution of the strategy and tactics of organic synthesis.