Herein we target the total synthesis of 2-epi-alpha-cedren-3-one, a natural compound isolated from the essential oil of Juniperus thurifera. Overall, our synthetic sequence presents an optimised and robust series of chemical transformations, with prominent features including a low temperature and highly (Z)-selective Wittig olefination reaction, which is vital for the establishment of the relative stereochemistry within the final natural product, and a microwave-assisted, catalytic, intramolecular Pauson-Khand cyclisation reaction, which is used to construct the intriguing tricyclic core of the target molecule. Our optimum cyclisation protocol utilises only 20 mol% of transition metal, and delivers the complex tricyclic structure in just 10 minutes. Further manipulations of the annulation product culminate in the first total synthesis of the described natural target.
- natural product
- organic synthesis