Isostrychnine Synthesis Mediated by Hypervalent Iodine Reagent

Strychnine is one of the best known compounds in the world, not only by the scientific community but also by the general population, probably due to its remarkable heptacyclic structure and its poisonous effect. The first total synthesis of strychnine (1954, Woodward and co-workers) is considered to be the first complex total synthesis achieved in organic chemistry. A new era in total synthesis had started, in which strychnine has played an important role and has been revealed to be a wonderful source of inspiration for chemists. When the group of Professor Sylvain Canesi at the Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada) started their project, there were already around twenty syntheses of strychnine reported in the literature. However, they were interested in developing new and rapid strategies involving hypervalent iodine reagents for the synthesis of complex natural products and decided to focus on the synthesis of isostrychnine, the natural opened isomer of strychnine.

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