The structurally unique natural product telomestatin incorporates seven oxazole rings and one sulfur-containing thiazoline in a macrocyclic arrangement. The compound is a potent inhibitor of the enzyme telomerase and therefore provides a structural framework for developing new potential therapeutic agents for cancer. An efficient formal total synthesis of telomestatin is reported in which the key steps are the use of dirhodium-(II)-catalyzed reactions of diazocarbonyl compounds to generate six oxazole rings, demonstrating the power of rhodium carbene methodology in organic chemical synthesis. CD spectroscopy establishes that seco-derivatives of telomestatin are potent stabilizers of G-quadruplex structures derived from the human telomeric repeat sequence. Mass spectrometry studies, confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations, provide the first evidence that high affinity binding to terminal G-tetrads in both 1:1 and 2:1 ligand complexes is mediated through the macrocycle coordinating a monovalent cation, with selectivity for the antiparallel structure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry