Naturalproductman’s Blog

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Crystalline Sponge Method to Determine Absolute Configuration

Posted by naturalproductman on January 19, 2016

X-ray crystallography is usually a good method to determine the relative configuration of natural products (i.e. diastereomers) containing more than one stereocenter. However, the method of determining the absolute configuration of natural products is very difficult by just using X-ray crystallography. Here’s a paper from the labs of Sylvia Urban (RMIT University) and Makoto Fujita (University of Tokyo)  that reports on the use of the crystalline sponge method to determine the absolute stereochemistry of elatenyne.


ACIE paper 


Other ways to determine absolute configuration by X-ray crystallography include derivatization with a chiral reagent then crystallizing, using the effects of anomalous dispersion (Friedif values).

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