Biomimetic synthesis of complex natural products
Biomimetic chemistry is a synthetic approach towards the synthesis of natural products. It draws inspiration from the elegant higher order complexity-generating processes that 'Mother Nature' employs in her biosynthetic schemes — allowing rapid and efficient entry to complex core structures that may otherwise require lengthy and difficult schemes.
The Moses group are pioneers in the field, and particularly in the development of concerted and pre-disposed tandem reaction sequences. For example, we have a long-standing interest in the study and synthesis of polyketide derived metabolites (the tridachiahydropyrones) isolated from marine molluscs. We have proposed and demonstrated, through experimentation, a complex biosynthetic scheme to explain the origins of these interesting compounds. Using our biomimetic photochemical approach, we have been able to synthesise and investigate the biological activities of these precious molecules. Employing complex biophysical techniques we have provided convincing evidence that these metabolites function as membrane bound sunscreens with anti-lipid peroxidation activity (see Phys Chem Chem Phys., 2012).