Two epimeric rearranged ergostanes, strophasterols A and B, with an unprecedented carbon skeleton were synthesized from ergosterol, both in 17 steps via a common secosteroidal intermediate. The conversion of ergosterol into the pivotal intermediate involved an efficient acid-catalyzed double-bond migration from ring B to ring D, oxidative cleavage of the double bond, and a completely diastereoselective acyl radical cyclization to form an isolated cyclopentanone ring unique to this recently discovered family of steroidal compounds produced by mushrooms. The intermediate was transformed stereodivergently into two epimeric cyclopentane derivatives through hydrogenation using two types of catalysts. One epimer was elaborated into strophasterol B by utilizing peracid oxidation of an iodide to provide an epoxide directly, and the other epimer was elaborated into strophasterol A, which is known to be a suppressor of endoplasmic reticulum stress.
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