No. 80

February 2012

Headline News Innovation and Development

Applied Technology

Basic Science Cooperation between CAS and Local Authorities
Bioscience International Cooperation Brief News Geoscience

Applied Technology

Major Advancement in Synthetic Natural Products

Natural products serve as an abundant source in the search for anticancer agents due to unparalleled structural diversity and accompanying molecular modes of action. In MayŁ¬ 2011, Kim, Osada, Ahn, and co-workers reported the isolation and structural elucidation of a biologically intriguing natural product, fusarisetin A, from a soil fungus, Fusarium sp. FN080326, which displays significant inhibition of acinar morphogenesis as well as cell migration and invasion without apparent cytotoxicity (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 6865). From a structural perspective, fusarisetin A exhibits a 6,6,5,5,5-fused pentacyclic ring system bearing 10 stereogenic centers, which poses a remarkable challenge for synthetic chemists. A team of scientists from the State Key Laboratory of Bioorganic and Natural Products Chemistry, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, CAS, Deng Jun, Zhu Bo, Lu Zhaoyong, and Yu Haixin, led by Prof. Li Ang, accomplished the first total synthesis of (¨C)-fusarisetin A within 6 months (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 920). The physical properties of the synthetic sample matched those reported for the natural material, except for the sign of its optical rotation. Thus, the absolute configuration of naturally occurring fusarisetin A was reassigned to the enantiomeric form of the original one based on the total synthesis. From a chemical point of view, the 13-step total synthesis featured a Lewis acid-promoted intramolecular Diels-Alder reaction, a palladium-catalyzed O to C allylic rearrangement, a chemoselective Wacker oxidation, and a Dieckmann condensation/hemi-ketalization cascade. The reported synthetic strategy and methods are expected to be applicable to the construction of other structurally or biosynthetically related natural products, as well as designed analogues of fusarisetin A, and thus to facilitate the exploration of its mechanism of action on molecular level.

Facile Method for Rapid Control of Switchable Oil Wettability and Adhesion

The composite lubricating materials group headed by Prof. Zhang Zhaozhu at the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics (LICP), CAS, has developed a facile approach to fabricate functional superoleophobic surfaces. Through the alternation of plasma treatment and surface fluorination, they have rapidly achieved the reversible wettability and adhesion transition to oil droplets on the resulting surface. This novel and simple technology for achieving reversible wettability and adhesion does not typically require expensive materials or complicated processes. The findings have been published in Langmuir (2011, 27, 14508¨C14513).

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