(Chemical Equation Presented) Fungal beauveriolide III (BeauIII, 1b), a cyclodepsipeptide inhibiting acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) and showing antiatherogenic activity in mouse models, consists of L-Phe, L-Ala, D-allo-Ile, and 3-hydroxy-4-methyloctanoic acid (HMA) moieties, but the stereochemistry of the HMA part has not until now been fully defined. To determine it, four HMA stereoisomers were synthesized and labeled with (S)-(+)-2-(anthracene-2,3-dicarboximido)-1-propyl trifluoromethane sulfonate (AP-OTf), a chiral fluorescent reagent. The derivatives were separated by HPLC and compared with the natural HMA derivative, which was thereby identified as (3S,4S)HMA in BeauIII. Furthermore, the four beauveriolide III isomers ((3S,4S)BeauIII (23a), (3R,4R)BeauIII (23b), (3R,4S)BeauIII (23c), and (3S,4R)BeauIII (23d)) were synthesized, and it was shown that all the spectral data for 23a were identical with those for natural 1b. Isomers 23a and 23d showed potent inhibitory activity of lipid droplet accumulation in macrophages, while the other two isomers caused weak inhibition. Thus, the 3S configuration of BeauIII is important for this activity. Furthermore, 23a and 23d showed rather specific inhibition against the ACAT1 isozyme.
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