Strategies Towards the Synthesis of 4-(3-methyl-but-1-enyl)-3,5,3',4'-tetrahydroxystilbene (Arachidin-1) and Resveratrol Analogues
Olusegun-Osoba, Elizabeth Oluwakemi
Stilbene phytoalexins such as resveratrol, 1, and the arachidins, including arachidin-1,2, are naturally synthesised by peanut (Arachis hypogaea) plants1, 2. The peanut phytoalexins are polyphenolic compounds consisting of a stilbene backbone, with a number of derivatives also possessing a prenyl moiety 3. These distinctive phytoalexins have gained attention, as they exhibit various biological activities, for instance arachidin-1, 2, has been reported to be more potent than resveratrol, 1, in the inhibition of lipopolysaccharide-induced expression of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and COX-2 mRNA, in vitro at doses that were low in cytotoxicity3-5. Additionally the various arachidins have recently been shown to exhibit their anti-inflammatory properties, through the inhibition of a number of inflammatory mediator pathways 3. In this work, various routes into the synthesis of arachidin-1, 2, are described, via use of the Horner-Wadsworth-Emmons (HWE) reaction. Three different methodologies were explored, the first approach involving silyl ether (TIPS or TBDMS) protected benzaldehydes, proved unsuccessful due to cleavage of the silyl ether protecting groups, in basic and/or acidic conditions. This led to an alternative approach, whereby formation of the stilbene backbone proceeded via the regioselective demethylation of an acetal in the presence of sodium metal, subsequent electrophilic substitution using iodomethane and finally acetal hydrolysis of the acetal, gave the isolated aldehyde in moderate yield (52 %). Coupling of the aldehyde with the substituted benzylphosphonate, via the HWE reaction gave the desired trans-stilbene in good yield (86 %), however incorporation of the prenyl side chain proved to be challenging via the Wohl-Ziegler bromination. Further adaptation of the aforementioned route, whereby alkylation using diethyl iodomethylphosphonate, enabled the incorporation of the prenyl moiety and the subsequent construction of the trans-stilbene backbone, gave the 4-(3-methyl-but-1- enyl)-3,5,3’,4’-tetramethoxystilbene, 3, albeit in poor yield (47 %). The final step involving demethylation using BBr3 gave arachidin-1, 2, also in poor yield (30 %), nevertheless this approach has been proved to be a successful route for the total synthesis of arachidin-1, 2, however optimised studies are required in order to obtain the desired compound in quantitative yields. Synthetic analogues of resveratrol, 1, are also known for their biological activities, including anti-inflammatory and chemopreventative properties. Recently, the anti-proliferative activity of a number of stilbenesulfonamides, against the National Cancer Institute’s 60 (NCI-60) human tumour cell line has been reported 6. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effects of novel heterocyclic methylsulfone and sulfonamide analogues, via inhibition of the COX-2 protein have also been published, however both synthetic routes described require a total of six or seven steps, from the sulfanilamide and are limited to the synthesis of primary sulphonamides (SO2NH2). In this work, an efficient three step synthesis has been designed and successfully implemented, proceeding via chlorosulfonation of diethyl benzylphosphonate, to form the sulfonyl chloride intermediate. Aminolysis of the sulfonyl chloride intermediate was then performed, using a range of primary, secondary and cyclic alkyl amines, as well as aromatic amines; including ammonia, dimethylamine, morpholine and diphenylamine. Finally, formation of the stilbene backbone with various substituted aldehydes, via the HWE reaction offered a short, versatile and alternative route to the synthesis of novel primary, secondary and tertiary trans-stilbene benzenesulfonamides and heterocyclic analogues, in yields of 42 – 100 %. The activity of a selection of the synthesised stilbene benzenesulfonamides was evaluated against the human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cell line (A549). Amongst the compounds tested, analysis of the data showed that the novel analogue, 4, was found to be the most potent compound, with a GI50 of 0.1 μM. Comparison with the previously published data found analogue, 4, to be approximately 500-fold more potent than the lead compound resveratrol, 1, (GI50 = 51.64 μM) and approximately twice as potent than 5-fluorouracil (GI50 = 0.189μM), a chemotherapy drug used to treat various forms of cancer 8. Overall, these results demonstrate that the total synthesis of trans-arachidin-1, 2, can be achieved via a five step methodology. A versatile route to the synthesis of novel stilbene benzenesulfonamides has also been successfully achieved, amongst the compounds synthesised one appears to show promising anticancer activity, and warrants further investigation (i.e. in vitro studies using other cancer cell lines, and the synthesis of additional compounds using analogue, 4, as a lead compound).