Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 95–105

Cubitane: a rare diterpenoid skeleton


DOI: 10.1007/s11101-012-9257-1

Cite this article as:
Wefer, J., Simon, K. & Lindel, T. Phytochem Rev (2013) 12: 95. doi:10.1007/s11101-012-9257-1


There are only 15 diterpenoids known sharing the rare cubitane skeleton (1,3-diisopropyl-6,10-dimethylcyclododecane, Fig. 1) named after the natural product (+)-cubitene ((+)-1) from the termite Cubitermes umbratus. Cubitane-type diterpenoids (“cubitanoids”) have since then been isolated from gorgonian corals and there are reports that cubitene also occurs in plants. The twelve-membered ring of the cubitanoids is an interesting feature for which we have developed a novel synthesis involving bicyclic precursors. In this review, we discuss the state-of-research regarding isolation, structure elucidation, biological activity, biosynthesis, and total synthesis of cubitane-type diterpenoids.
Fig. 1

Cubitane skeleton and cubitanoids from termites


DiterpenoidsTotal synthesisStructure elucidationCubitane

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Organic ChemistryTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany