The lichen-derived glycoconjugate gobienine A is structurally more complex than most glycolipids isolated from higher plants by virtue of the all-cis substituted γ-lactone substructure embedded into its macrocyclic frame. A concise entry into this very epimerization-prone and hence challenging structural motif is presented, which relies on an enantioselective cyanohydrin formation, an intramolecular Blaise reaction, a palladium-catalyzed alkoxycarbonylation, and a diastereoselective hydrogenation of the tetrasubstituted alkene in the resulting butenolide. This strategy, in combination with ring-closing olefin metathesis for the formation of the macrocyclic perimeter, allowed the proposed structure of gobienine A (1) to be formed in high overall yield. The recorded spectral data show that the structure originally attributed to gobienine A is incorrect and that it is not the epimerization-prone ester site on the butanolide ring that is the locus of misassignment; rather, the discrepancy must be more profound.
- natural products
- total synthesis