Collective Synthesis of Indole Alkaloids Enabled by Photoredox-Initiated Radical Cascade Reactions

Yong Qin reports the synthesis of indole alkaloids using by photoredox-initiated radical cascade reactions.

Indole alkaloids represent a large and unique family of natural products that are characterized by complex and diverse structures, as well as an important range of bioactivities. Representative molecules such as vinblastine and reserpine have been used as clinical drugs for decades. These features, combined, have rendered the total synthesis of indole alkaloids a topic of great concern for synthetic chemists, the research of which could be traced back to the historic synthesis of reserpine and strychnine in the 1950s by Woodward and co-workers. 

The group of Professor Yong Qin at Sichuan University (P. R. of China) has a long-standing interest in the synthesis of complex monoterpenoid indole alkaloids. Previously, the group developed a cyclopropanation strategy, which has proven to be versatile in the synthesis of several intriguing indole alkaloids, such as communesin F, minfiensine, vincorine, lundurine A and fruticosine.

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