Synthesis of triprenylated toluquinone and toluhydroquinone metabolites from a marine-derived Penicillium fungus

by Scheepers, B.A.

Abstract (Summary)
This project forms part of a collaborative effort between the marine natural products chemists at Rhodes University and the medical biochemists at the University of Cape Town’s School of Medicine. Our UCT collaborators tested the cytotoxicity of a group of toluhydroquinones and toluquinones (9-15) against the oesophageal cancer cell line WHCO1 and revealed that the triprenylated toluhydroquinone 11 and it’s oxidised analogue 12 were the most active. This thesis presents an investigation into the role of the polyprenyl side-chain in the cytotoxicity of compound 11 and it’s oxidised analogue 12 by synthesizing and testing the cytotoxicity of simplified analogues of this compound.

The synthesis of the two ortho-prenylated toluhydroquinone analogues 5-methyl-2-[(2'E,6'E)-3',7' -dimethyl-2',6'-octadienyl]-1,4-benzenediol (19) and 5-methyl-2-[(2'E,6'E)-3',7',11'-trimethyl-2',6',10'-dodecatrienyl]-1,4-benzenediol (21) and their two ortho-prenylated toluquinone analogues, 5-methyl-2-[(2'E,6'E)-3',7'-dimethyl-2',6'-octadienyl]-2,5-cyclohexadiene-1,4-dione (20) and 5-methyl-2-[(2'E,6'E)-3',7',11'-trimethyl-2',6',10'-dodecatrienyl]-2,5-cyclohexadiene-1,4-dione (22) is described. Our initial attempts to couple geranyl bromide, farnesyl bromide and farnesal to the aromatic precursors m-cresol and 1,4-dimethoxy-2-methylbenzene using directed ortho-prenylation and phenoxide carbon-alkylation were unsuccessful. The four target analogues were eventually synthesized via the initial metal halogen exchange reaction between 1-bromo-2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylbenzene and geranyl bromide/farnesyl bromide using n-BuLi and TMEDA in ditheyl ether at 0 °C to yield 92 and 104 respectively in moderate yield. The demethylation of both compounds preceded smoothly using AgO giving the target analogues 20 and 22 in good yield (approx. 90 %). The reduction of quinones 20 and 22 with sodium dithionite gave 19 and 21 in quantitative yield. The synthesis reported here is the first regioselective synthesis of these compounds. The anti-oesophageal cancer activity of 19-22 and two commercially available non-prenylated analogues 17 and 18 were tested against WHCO1. The conclusion drawn from the anti-oesophageal cancer study was that the polyprenyl side-chain plays a negligable role in the cytotoxicity of compounds such as 11 and 9 against the oesophageal cancer cell line WHCO1.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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