Researchers create total synthesis of HIV replication inhibitor

Kyoto, Japan — Having control over how a dish is cooked is always a good idea. Taking a hint from the kitchen, scientists appear to have discovered a way to produce a true structure of the rare but naturally-occurring anti-HIV compound Lancilactone C from start to finish.

Its non-cytotoxicity in mammals could make this triterpenoid an ideal candidate for treating AIDS if its biological activity were clear — and if only it were abundant in nature.

Now, a research group at Kyoto University has succeeded in creating a domino-like synthesis of Lancilactone C’s unique seven-membered ring structure.

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