A combinatorial approach to the chemical synthesis and biological evaluation of 3,4,5-trisubstiituted furan-2(5H)-ones

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Many important natural products contain the furan-2(5H)-one structure. The structure of this molecule lends itself to manipulation using combinatorial techniques due to the presence of more than one site for the attachment of different suhstituents. By developing different reaction schemes at the three sites available for attachment on the furan-2(5H)-one scaffold, combinatorial chemistry techniques can be employed to assemble libraries of novel furan 2(5H)-ones. These libraries can then be entered into various biological screening programmes. This approach will enable a vast diversity or compounds to be examined, in the hope or finding new biologically active Iead
The work in this thesis has investigated the potential that combinatorial chemistry has in the quest for new biologically active lead structures based on the furan-2(5H)-one structure. Different reactions were investigated with respect to their suitability for inclusion in a library. Once sets of reactions at the various sites had been established, the viability of these reactions in the assembly of combinatorial libraries was investigated. Purification methods were developed, and the purified products entered
into suitable biological screening tests. Results from some of these tests were
optimised using structure activity relationships, and the resulting products re-screened. The screening tests performed were for anticancer and antimicrobial activity, cholecystokinin (CCK-B) antagonism and anti-inflammatory activity (in the quest for novel cyclo-oxygenase (COX-2) selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
It has been shown that many reactions undergone by the furan-2(5H)-one structure are suitable for the assembly of a combinatorial library. Investigation into the assembly of different libraries has been carried out with initial screening results included. From this work, further investigation into combinatorial library assembly and structure activity relationships of screened reaction products can be undertaken.
Date of AwardSept 2000
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorEric Lattmann (Supervisor)


  • anticancer
  • butenolides
  • cholecystokinin
  • cyclo-oxygenase
  • methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

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