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A general strategy for the synthesis of taxane diterpenes

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The carbon skeleton of any organic molecule serves as the foundation for its three-dimensional structure, playing a pivotal role in determining its physical and biological properties.1As such, taxane diterpenes are one of the most well known natural product families, primarily owing to the success of their most prominent compound, paclitaxel, an effective anti-cancer therapeutic for more than 25 years.2-6 In contrast to classical taxanes, the bioactivity of cyclotaxanes (also referred to as complex taxanes) remains significantly underexplored. The carbon skeletons of these two groups of taxanes differ significantly, and so would typically their own distinct synthetic approaches. Here, we report a versatile synthetic strategy based on the interconversion of complex molecular frameworks, providing general access to the wider taxane diterpene family. A range of classical and cyclotaxane frameworks was prepared including, among others, the first total syntheses of taxinine K (2), canataxapropellane (5) and dipropellane C from a single advanced intermediate. The synthetic approach deliberately eschews biomimicry, emphasizing instead the power of stereoelectronic control in orchestrating the interconversion of polycyclic frameworks.

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Correspondence to Lu Pan or Tanja Gaich.

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Supplementary Sections 1–10 which include Supplementary Text, Data, Figs and Tables – see Contents for details.

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Pan, L., Schneider, F., Ottenbruch, M. et al. A general strategy for the synthesis of taxane diterpenes. Nature (2024).

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