Calyculins and Related Marine Natural Products as Serine-Threonine Protein Phosphatase PP1 and PP2A Inhibitors and Total Syntheses of Calyculin A, B, and C

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Calyculins, highly cytotoxic polyketides, originally isolated from the marine
sponge Discodermia calyx by Fusetani and co-workers, belong to the lithistid sponges group. These molecules have become interesting targets for cell biologists and synthetic organic chemists. The serine/threonine protein phosphatases play an essential role in the cellular signalling, metabolism, and cell cycle control. Calyculins express potent protein phosphatase 1 and 2A inhibitory activity, and have therefore become valuable tools for cellular biologists studying intracellular processes and their control by reversible phosphorylation. Calyculins might also play an important role in the development of several diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and type 2-diabetes mellitus. The fascinating structures of calyculins have inspired various groups of synthetic organic chemists to develop total syntheses of the most abundant calyculins A and C. However, with fifteen chiral centres, a cyano-capped tetraene unit, a phosphate-bearing spiroketal, an anti, anti, anti dipropionate segment, an α-chiral oxazole, and a trihydroxylated γ-amino acid, calyculins reach versatility that only few natural products can surpass, and truly
challenge modern chemists’ asymmetric synthesis skills.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-172
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • Total Synthesis, marine natural products, protein phosphatase inhibitors

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