Dendralenes are exquisite molecules as they exhibit enormous potential for the rapid generation of architecturally esoteric scaffolds when subjected to tandem Diels-Alder reactions, but their synthesis is a tall order. In conjunction with diversity-oriented synthesis, dendralenes satisfy the potential demand for simultaneous and efficient synthesis of intricate collections of molecules that exhibit a range of activities for lead generation in drug discovery. This account chronicles our roller-coaster journey and systematic approach beginning from the synthesis of extremely unstable, non-isolable dendralenes through moderately stable examples and then finally, highly functionalized, stable dendralenes via sequential methylenation (using dimethylsulfonium methylide) and Horner-Wadsworth-Emmons olefination. It also describes the study of the attributes affecting their stability and reactivity with various dienophiles. In addition, it reports on how these dendralenes, upon astute maneuvering, can be engaged in a diene-transmissive Diels-Alder (DTDA) sequence, thus harnessing their full potential by construction of a small but diverse library of complex frameworks in a quick and efficient manner, with step and atom economy. 1 Introduction 2 Literature Methods for Dendralene Synthesis 3 Our Tryst with Dendralenes 3.1 Serendipitous Olefination with the Corey-Chaykovsky Ylide 3.2 Synthesis of Dendralenes and Reactivity/Stability Studies 3.3 Diels-Alder Reactions of Dendralenes 3.4 Tuning of Dendralenes for the DTDA Reactions 3.5 Diversity-Oriented Synthesis with Dendralenes 3.6 Rationalization of Factors Governing the Stability and Reactivity of Dendralenes 4 Conclusions.
- diene-transmissive Diels-Alder (DTDA)
- dimethylsulfonium methylide
- diversity-oriented synthesis (DOS)