Total synthesis of taxol

K. C. Nicolaou, Z. Yang, J. J. Liu, H. Ueno, P. G. Nantermet, R. K. Guy, C. F. Claiborne, J. Renaud, E. A. Couladouros, K. Paulvannan, E. J. Sorensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1076 Scopus citations


TAXOL1-4, a substance originally isolated from the Pacific yew tree (Taxus brevifolia) more than two decades ago, has recently been approved for the clinical treatment of cancer patients. Hailed as having provided one of the most significant advances in cancer therapy5, this molecule exerts its anticancer activity by inhibiting mitosis through enhancement of the polymerization of tubulin and consequent stabilization of microtubules 6. The scarcity of taxol and the ecological impact of harvesting it have prompted extensive searches for alternative sources including semisynthesis, cellular culture production and chemical synthesis2,3. The latter has been attempted for almost two decades, but these attempts have been thwarted by the magnitude of the synthetic challenge. Here we report the total synthesis of taxol by a convergent strategy, which opens a chemical pathway for the production of both the natural product itself and a variety of designed taxoids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-634
Number of pages5
Issue number6464
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Total synthesis of taxol'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this