Natural product synthesis aims to prepare a complex target molecule such that the product is analytically identical to the naturally occurring compound, termed a natural product.
It is used for structure confirmation, but also as a test for new synthetic methodology and sometimes to assist in identifying how the compound is made naturally.
Natural product synthesis plays a key role in our research programmes. Over the years we have assembled over 140 complex and architecturally challenging structures.
These efforts lead to the discovery of many new processes which find wider application in chemical synthesis. This area is a superb and creative training ground for anyone interested in learning the art of organic synthesis.
The exquisite diversity, reactivity and biological function of these molecules constantly challenges the very frontiers of our science in terms of assembly and reactivity.
The target-orientated approach imposes a discipline which is hard to match by other areas of chemistry.
Natural product synthesis has a rich history of discovery and innovation which continues today; often it provides the basis to ask new questions and solve previously considered impossible processes, thereby leading to step-change advances and transformation of the subject.
Natural products still inspire the discovery of many new healing drug substances.
Likewise, in our quest to understand the function of molecles, natural and unnatural systems enrich our opportunities leading to improved complexity geneation, multi-catalytic systems, harnessing the power of non-covalent interactions and much more.
In our recent review on the impact of natural products as a vehicle for discovery, especially for carbon-carbon bond or ring-forming events during particularly challenging steps of synthesis, the reader can experience the knowledge, the commitment, and effort needed to assemble these fascinating structures.
Natural product synthesis journal
The Journal of Natural Products invites and publishes papers that make substantial and scholarly contributions to the area of natural products research.
Contributions may relate to the chemistry and/or biochemistry of naturally occurring compounds or the biology of living systems from which they are obtained.
Specifically, there may be articles that describe secondary metabolites of microorganisms, including antibiotics and mycotoxins; physiologically active compounds from terrestrial and marine plants and animals; biochemical studies, including biosynthesis and microbiological transformations; fermentation and plant tissue culture; the isolation, structure elucidation, and chemical synthesis of novel compounds from nature; and the pharmacology of compounds of natural origin.
When new compounds are reported, manuscripts describing their biological activity are much preferred.
Natural product synthesis review
Many natural products have intriguing medicinal properties that arise from their fascinating chemical structures.
This structural complexity means that the total synthesis of natural products often requires the use of protecting-group chemistry, an approach that is neither economical nor biomimetic.
However, structurally complicated and bioactive natural products can be accessed through protecting-group-free (PGF) total syntheses, which are usually much more efficient, provided that the individual reactions proceed with high chemoselectivity.
In this Review, we present innovations in methodology and strategy that have enabled the PGF construction of sophisticated organic skeletons bearing multiple asymmetric centers and functional groups.
We begin by describing the history of PGF synthesis and then focus on illustrative examples of PGF total syntheses of terpenes and alkaloids reported from 2013 to 2017.
These advances will enable more concise and efficient syntheses of molecules of structural and biological importance.
Natural product synthesis research group
The facile generation of biologically important small molecules and their analogues via step-, atom-, and redox-economical methods has held the attention of medicinal and organic synthetic chemists for decades.
Within this realm, the tethering of two advanced intermediates has emerged as a powerful approach to streamline asymmetric synthesis of complex biologically active targets.
While silicon has been the most widely used tether, the investigation of other tether systems in the synthesis of complex bioactive compounds has gathered considerable interest over the past several years.
Our approach utilizes the potential of phosphorus tethers to mediate both di- and tripodal coupling of key structural fragments and provide multivalent activation within the phosphate ester appendages to allow for further two-directional synthetic transformations.
Manipulating the innate chemistry of phosphate triesters, our approach involves the use of phosphate-tethers in desymmetrization and orthogonal protection, in addition to their use as latent leaving groups.
Current studies seek to probe the scope of phosphate-tether technology through its application to the total synthesis of several complexes, small molecule targets, and in the hopes of generating a suite of practical synthetic tools, studies will also include the development of a variety of new tether systems for potential use in the synthesis of biologically relevant molecules.
We are students and scientists from around the world, working in the area of synthetic organic chemistry and associated disciplines.
The core of our research is the development of new reactions and the synthesis of organic molecules.
Our current efforts include the chemical synthesis of proteins and protein conjugates, new cross-coupling approaches to chiral N-heterocyles, the development of new ligation and cross-coupling reactions, and the application of these processes to chemical biology, soft materials, and catalysis.
We believe in making molecules that cannot currently be made by existing technologies.
Our primary laboratories at ETH-Zürich include about 30 PhD students and postdocs from over 20 different countries, along with numerous students, visiting researchers, and apprentices training in our group.
We also have a satellite laboratory at Nagoya University as part of the Institute of Transformative bio-Molecules.
In addition to five full time researchers based there, we have constant exchange of researchers between the sites.