Natural product synthesis

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.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Natural products often provide lead scaffolds for the development of therapeutics, but complexity of their synthesis can limit the discovery of improved analogues. Pharmacophore-directed retrosynthesis aims to accelerate the building of a structure–activity relationship profile of a natural product, aiming to identifying a simplified lead.

    • Jason R. Hudlicky
    •  & Gary A. Sulikowski
    Nature Chemistry 11, 297-298
  • Research Highlights |

    A biomimetic total synthesis of (–)-oxycodone relies on an electrochemically mediated coupling of two oxygenated aryl rings for a key bond formation.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • Research Highlights |

    A total synthesis of xishacorene B starts from a chiral pool molecule and exploits a C–C activation reaction to form the core structure.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • News and Views |

    The chemical synthesis of natural products, such as sesquiterpenes, is a daunting task due to their complexity and precise functionalization, and multiple synthetic and purification steps that reduce overall yields are usually required. Now, a highly efficient alternative approach using supramolecular chemistry has been proposed by Tiefenbacher and co-workers.

    • Dan Thomas Major
    Nature Catalysis 1, 567-568
  • Research Highlights |

    A team of French and UK researchers have used DNA to template a key photocatalysed cycloaddition reaction in the total synthesis of a marine natural product.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • News and Views |

    Lyases are enzymes that catalyse the breaking of chemical bonds. Now, reversing this reaction towards carbon–nitrogen bond formation allows for the synthesis of various chiral aminocarboxylic acids such as the potential antibiotic co-drug aspergillomarasmine A.

    • Romas J. Kazlauskas
    Nature Catalysis 1, 172-173