The synthesis of neoflavene and neoflavenes with methoxy substituents at different positions are described. As starting materials, various salicylaldehydes were run through sequential reactions such as O-allylation, Grignard reaction, oxidation, Wittig reaction, and ring-closing metathesis to yield the target neoflavenes in good yield. Among the prepared neoflavenes, 7-methoxy-4′-methoxyneoflavene (6e) and 8-methoxy-4′- methoxyneoflavene (6f) exhibiting potential cell toxicities against various cells were disclosed. In particular, 6f which exhibited an IC50 value of 6.5 ± 2.0 and 5.1 ± 1.1 μM against gastric carcinoma and lung carcinoma cells in vitro was found, respectively. Meanwhile, the structure and activity relationship of our synthesized neoflavenes is further discussed briefly.
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