New Research

Total Synthesis of Ecumicin

The first total synthesis of the potent anti-mycobacterial cyclic depsipeptide natural product ecumicin is described. Synthesis was achieved via a solid-phase strategy, incorporating the synthetic non-proteinogenic amino acids N-methyl-4-methoxy-l-tryptophan and threo-β-hydroxy-l-phenylalanine into the growing linear peptide chain. The synthesis employed key on-resin esterification and dimethylation steps as well as a final macrolactamization between the unusual N-methyl-4-methoxy-l-tryptophan unit and a bulky N-methyl-l-valine residue. The synthetic natural product possessed potent antimycobacterial activity against the virulent H37Rv strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MIC90 = 312 nM).

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