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Synthesis of xanthofulvin and vinaxanthone

A method to synthesize the natural compounds xanthofulvin and vinaxanthone could help their development in spinal cord injury (SCI). Xanthofulvin was synthesized from tetronic acid via a 13-step process, which represents the first synthesis of the compound. Vinaxanthone was synthesized from tetronic acid via a 9-step process, whereas the previous method required 14 steps. In nematode worms, synthetic xanthofulvin and vinaxanthone increased neuronal outgrowth compared with vehicle. Next steps include identifying and testing synthetic derivatives of these compounds.

SciBX 5(44); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1170
Published online Nov. 8, 2012

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Axelrod, A. et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.; published online Oct. 23, 2012;
Contact: Dionicio Siegel, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas