A short formal total synthesis of strychnine with a samarium diiodide induced cascade reaction as the key step.
Brevity is the soul of wit! The power of SmI2-induced cyclizations has been demonstrated by the shortest formal total synthesis of (±)-strychnine to date, which features a new cascade reaction. Only one protective-group transformation is required. The ketyl–aryl coupling/acylation cascade also efficiently proceeds with other indole derivatives with excellent diastereoselectivities.