OSW Saponins: Facile synthesis toward a new type of structures with potent antitumor activities

Bingfeng Shi, Pingping Tang, Xiaoyi Hu, Jun O. Liu, Biao Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


OSW saponins, featuring a 16β,17α-dihydroxycholest-22-one aglycon and an acylated β-D-xylopyranosyl-(1→3)-α-L- arabinopyranosyl residue attached to the 16-hydroxyl group, have recently been discovered from a group of lily plants, which show potent antitumor activities with a novel mechanism of action. This paper describes an aldol approach to the stereoselective construction of the 16α,17α-dihydroxycholest-22-one structure from 16α-hydroxy-5-androsten-17-ones and propionates. Elaboration of the aldol adducts toward OSW-1, involving installation of the isoamyl ketone side chain, inversion of the 16-hydroxyl configuration, and selective protection of the C22-oxy function, has been explored and accomplished. In particular, the present route was found convenient for the synthesis of OSW saponin analogues with a C22-ester side chain. Thus, the 23-oxa-analogue of OSW-1 (40) was prepared starting from the industrial dehydroisoandrosterone (1) in a linear eight-step sequence and in 26% overall yield. Analogues with a variety of modified side chains were prepared, via aldol condensation with propionates of varying length, thiopropionate, and acetate (for preparation of 68-75) or via aminolysis of the 22,16-lactone 26 (for preparation of the 23-N-analogues). Cross metathesis (CM) reaction was also found feasible for modification at the final stage from C22-allyl ester 70. Valuable structure-activity relationships (SAE), together with the practical synthetic approach, have thus been provided to set a new stage for further studies on this new type of antitumor structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10354-10367
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Organic Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 9 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


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