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The asymmetric syntheses of all members of the Hancock alkaloid family based upon a 2-substituted N-methyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline core are delineated. The conjugate addition of enantiopure lithium N-benzyl- N-(α-methyl- p-methoxybenzyl)amide to 5-( o-bromophenyl)- N-methoxy- N-methylpent-2-enamide is used to generate the requisite C-2 stereogenic center of the targets, while an intramolecular Buchwald-Hartwig coupling is used to form the 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline ring. Late-stage diversification completes construction of the C-2 side chains. Thus, (-)-cuspareine, (-)-galipinine, (-)-galipeine, and (-)-angustureine were prepared in overall yields of 30%, 28%, 15%, and 39%, respectively, in nine steps from commercially available 3-( o-bromophenyl)propanoic acid in all cases. Unambiguously corrected 1H and 13C NMR data for the originally isolated samples of (-)-cuspareine, (-)-galipinine, and (-)-angustureine are also reported, representing a valuable reference resource for these popular synthetic targets.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of natural products

Publication Date



Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Research Laboratory , University of Oxford , Mansfield Road , Oxford OX1 3TA , U.K.