Flavanols are privileged heterocyclic compounds in medicinal chemistry. It is notable to develop an efficient and straightforward protocol for accessing chiral flavanols with precise control of the stereocenters. Here, a highly efficient kinetic resolution of chromenes was reported via Cu-catalyzed asymmetric hydroboration. This previously unidentified approach features a one-step synthesis of chiral flavan-3-ols containing two vicinal stereogenic centers via a highly efficient kinetic resolution (s factor up to 1060, >99% ee for most products). In addition, the anti-inflammation effects of these diversified flavan-3-ols were studied by the in vitro experiments and RNA sequencing analysis. These flavan-3-ols showed inhibitory effects on the secretion of pro-inflammation cytokines including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor–α (TNF-α), as well as inhibiting the inflammation responses through down-regulating the gene transcriptions closely related to PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and TNF signaling pathway. The results suggested that these newly synthesized flavan-3-ols have the potential to be lead compounds for anti-inflammatory drugs.
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