Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemistry (MS)

Degree Level



Chemistry & Biochemistry


Wei Shi

Committee Member

Matt McIntosh

Second Committee Member

Nan Zheng


Cytotoxicity, Fucose-truncated, Galactose, Ipomoeassin F, Macrolide, Monosaccharide


Natural product synthesis has many applications in the field of chemical biology, due to

the protein binding affinity to the complex three-dimensional structure. However, synthetic and

structure-activity relationship studies concerning certain drug targets are scarce. For example,

members of the ipomoeassin family have exhibited anti-cancer properties, but cost-effective

optimization of these compounds has not yet been extensively studied. Ipomoeassin F, a natural

glycoresin isolated from the leaves of the Ipomoea squamosa plant in the Suriname rainforest, has

shown high cytotoxicity, with IC50 values measured at the low nanomolar range. Two studies by

Postema and Fuerstner have outlined synthesis pathways for ipomoeassin F using ring closing

metathesis (RCM) for macrolactonization. The Shi group improved the synthetic method by

introducing the cinnamate and tiglate moieties at different stages and developing novel protecting

group strategies to reduce the number of steps. Recently, extensive studies were conducted

outlining structure-activity relationship; specifically of the fucose ring, cinnamate and tiglate

functional groups, and lipophilic aglycone. Removal of the functional groups on the expensive

fucoside moiety did not significantly affect the activity of the compound; therefore

monosaccharide and galactoside analogues were designed, synthesized and biologically tested.

The overall objective of this research is to explore the monosaccharide and galactoside analogue

synthetic pathways in order to better understand the binding affinity and cytotoxic properties of

ipomoeassin F.