A new synthesis of (+)-cyclophellitol, a potent b-glucosidase inhibitor, has been completed in nine steps from D-xylose. The key transformations involve a zinc-mediated fragmentation of benzyl-protected methyl 5-deoxy-5-iodo-xylofuranoside followed by a highly diastereoselective indium-mediated coupling with ethyl 4-bromocrotonate. Subsequent ring-closing olefin metathesis, ester reduction, olefin epoxidation, and deprotection then afford the natural product. This constitutes the shortest synthesis of (+)-cyclophellitol reported to date.
Journal of Organic Chemistry, 2005, Vol 70, Issue 24, p. 10139-10142