Addition of Vindoline to p-Benzoquinone: Regiochemistry, Stereochemistry and Symmetry Considerations - Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne Access content directly
Journal Articles Molecules Year : 2021

Addition of Vindoline to p-Benzoquinone: Regiochemistry, Stereochemistry and Symmetry Considerations


Vindoline and catharanthine are the major alkaloids of Catharanthus roseus and are extracted in large quantities to prepare the pharmaceutically important Vinca type alkaloids vincaleukoblastine, vincristine and navelbine. The higher yield of vindoline relative to catharanthine makes it an attractive substrate for developing new chemistry and adding value to the plant. In this context, we have reacted vindoline with a selection of electrophiles among which benzoquinone. Conditions were developed to optimize the synthesis of a mono-adduct, of five bis-adducts, and of tri-adducts and tetra-adducts, several of these adducts being mixtures of conformational isomers. Copper(II) was added to the reactions to promote reoxidation of the intermediate hydroquinones and simplify the reaction products. The structures were solved by spectroscopic means and by symmetry considerations. Among the bis-isomers, the 2,3-diadduct consists of three unseparable species, two major ones with an axis of symmetry, thus giving a single set of signals and existing as two different species with indistinguishable NMR spectra. The third and minor isomer has no symmetry and therefore exhibits nonequivalence in the signals of the two vindoline moieties. These isomers are designated as syn (minor) and anti (major) and there exists a high energy barrier between them making their interconversion difficult. DFT calculations on simplified model compounds demonstrate that the syn-anti interconversion is not possible at room temperature on the NMR chemical shift time scale. These molecules are not rigid and calculations showed a back-and-forth conrotatory motion of the two vindolines. This “windshield wiper” effect is responsible for the observation of exchange correlations in the NOESY spectra. The same phenomenon is observed with the higher molecular weight adducts, which are also mixtures of rotational isomers. The same lack of rotations between syn and anti isomers is responsible for the formation of four tri-adducts and of seven tetra-adducts. On a biological standpoint, the mono adduct displayed anti-inflammatory properties at the 5 μM level while the di-adducts and tri-adducts showed moderate cytotoxicity against Au565, and HeLa cancer cell lines.
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hal-03406894 , version 1 (28-10-2021)




Shamsher Ali, Eric Hénon, Ritchy Leroy, Georges Massiot. Addition of Vindoline to p-Benzoquinone: Regiochemistry, Stereochemistry and Symmetry Considerations. Molecules, 2021, 26 (21), pp.6395. ⟨10.3390/molecules26216395⟩. ⟨hal-03406894⟩
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