Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 95–105 | Cite as

Cubitane: a rare diterpenoid skeleton



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


Diterpenoids Total synthesis Structure elucidation Cubitane 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Organic ChemistryTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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