Synthesis of complex molecules, often a natural product, from simple, commercially available chemicals.
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- Natural products are adapted as indispensable resources to inspire the creation of novel chemical spaces with biological interest.  Deconstruction of complex natural products is the driving force for synthetic chemistry to develop novel strategies and methods that may find wide applications in various disciplines.  A plethora of structural variants derived from the synthetic adventure provide unprecedented opportunities to discover molecules with novel functions. On the other hand, interpretation of the biosynthetic pathways in nature would help us to reconstitute the biosynthetic machinery and develop novel biomimetic approaches to overcome labour-intensive routes.
- Cytochalasans are an important class of fungal metabolites displaying remarkable structural diversity and significant biological activity. Historically, considerable effort has been devoted toward the synthesis of cytochalasans. Comparably, merocytochalasans, an array of more complicated molecules biosynthetically derived from cytochalasans and epicoccine through hetero-dimerization, -trimerization or -tetramerization, have been less explored. In recent years, our group has shown keen interest on cytochalasans and merocytochalasans, which has culminated in the collective syntheses of a variety of representative molecules of this family.
- Degraded limonoids are a subclass of limonoid natural products that derive from ring-intact or ring-rearranged limonoids. Establishment of robust synthetic routes to access them could provide valuable materials to identify the simplest active pharmacophore responsible for the observed biological activities of the parent molecules. This communication delineates the development of a divergent strategy to furnish melazolide B and several other related congeners from a common keto-lactone intermediate, which was rapidly assembled from α-ionone.