Beckman Center for Chemical Sciences

10550 N. Torrey Pines Road

La Jolla, CA   92037

email | phone: 858.784.8415

Neuroscience. Your brain is chemical. Small molecules mediate its communication, maintenance, function and dysfunction. Our lab has published methods to synthesize important classes of CNS-active metabolites including potent nAChR inhibitors and Illicium terpenes, sometimes called ‘neurotrophic terpenes.’  We proposed that these latter metabolites enhance neurite outgrowth through binding to the CysLoop family of neurotransmitter-gated ion channels–probably GABAa receptors. Our chemistry allows us to match the combinatorial nature of these receptors with a combinatorial assembly of terpenes. More recently, we described a computational workflow called CANDOR (Computed Affinity / Dynamically Ordered Retrosynthesis) to rapidly synthesize a stabilized salvinorin A analog that potently and selectively agonizes the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), a target for next generation pain therapeutics. This synthesis is being used to generate important KOR tool compounds, but we anticipate the CANDOR workflow will accelerate the deployment of many other natural product scaffolds in medicinal chemistry campaigns. 

 

See publications: ‚Äč

  1. Roach, J. J.; Sasano, Y.; Schmid, C. L.; Zaidi, S.; Katrich, V.; Stevens, R. C.; Bohn, L. M.; Shenvi, R. A.* Dynamic Strategic Bond Analysis Yields a 10-step Synthesis of 20-nor-SalA, a Potent κ-OR Agonist, submitted. ChemRxiv DOI: 10.26434/chemrxiv.5318188

  2. Ohtawa, M.; Krambis, M.J.; Cerne, R.; Schkeryantz, J.M.; Witkin, J.M.; Shenvi, R.A. "Synthesis of (–)-11-O-debenzoyltashironin: Neurotrophic Sesquiterpenes Cause Hyperexcitation." JACS, 2017, 139, 9637-9644. 

  3. Lu, H.-H.; Martinez, M. D.; Shenvi, R. A. "Eight-Step, Gram-Scale Synthesis of (–)-Jiadifenolide" Nature Chem. 2015, 7, 604-607.

  4. Shenvi, R. A. “Neurite outgrowth enhancement by jiadifenolide: possible targets” Nat. Prod. Rep. 2016, 33, 535-539.

  5. Pronin, S. V.; Tabor, M. G.; Jansen, D. J.; Shenvi, R. A. “A Stereoselective Hydroamination Transform to Access Polysubstituted Indolizidines”, JACS, 2012, 134, 2012-2015.

  6. Tabor, M. G.; Shenvi, R. A. "Synthesis of Lepadiformine Using a Hydroamination Transform" Org. Lett. 2015, 17, 5776.