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Fluorine represents a privileged building block in pharmaceutical chemistry. Diethylaminosulfur-trifluoride (DAST) is a reagent commonly used for replacement of alcoholic hydroxyl groups with fluorine and is also known to catalyze water elimination and cyclic Beckmann-rearrangement type reactions. In this work we aimed to use DAST for diversity-oriented semisynthetic transformation of natural products bearing multiple hydroxyl groups to prepare new bioactive compounds. Four ecdysteroids, including a new constituent of Cyanotis arachnoidea, were selected as starting materials for DAST-catalyzed transformations. The newly prepared compounds represented combinations of various structural changes DAST was known to catalyze, and a unique cyclopropane ring closure that was found for the first time. Several compounds demonstrated in vitro antitumor properties. A new 17-N-acetylecdysteroid (13) exerted potent antiproliferative activity and no cytotoxicity on drug susceptible and multi-drug resistant mouse T-cell lymphoma cells. Further, compound 13 acted in significant synergism with doxorubicin without detectable direct ABCB1 inhibition. Our results demonstrate that DAST is a versatile tool for diversity-oriented synthesis to expand chemical space towards new bioactive compounds.


Máté Vágvölgyi, Endre Kocsis, Márta Nové, Nikoletta Szemerédi, Gabriella Spengler, Zoltán Kele, Róbert Berkecz, Tamás Gáti, Gábor Tóth, Attila Hunyadi. Diversity-Oriented Synthesis Catalyzed by Diethylaminosulfur-Trifluoride-Preparation of New Antitumor Ecdysteroid Derivatives. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Mar 22;23(7)

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PMID: 35408806

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