Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.141, No.36, 14052-14056, 2019
Enzymatic Intermolecular Hetero-Diels-Alder Reaction in the Biosynthesis of Tropolonic Sesquiterpenes
Diels-Alder reactions are among the most powerful synthetic transformations to construct complex natural products. Despite that increasing of enzymatic intramolecular Diels-Alder reactions have been discovered, natural intermolecular Diels-Alderases are rarely described. Here, we report an intermolecular hetero-Diels-Alder reaction in the biosynthesis of tropolonic sesquiterpenes and functionally characterize EupfF as the first fungal intermolecular hetero-Diels-Alderase. We demonstrate that EupfF catalyzed the dehydration of a hydroxymethyl-containing tropolone (5) to generate a reactive tropolone o-quinone methide (6) and might further stereoselectively control the subsequent intermolecular hetero-Diels-Alder reaction with (1E,4E,8Z)-humulenol (8) to produce enantiomerically pure neosetophomone B (1). Our results reveal the biosynthetic pathway of 1 and expand the repertoire of activities of Diels-Alder cyclases.