One more nail in the coffin of the widely disputed Le Clair structure of hexacyclinol is provided by the B97-2/cc-pVTZ/B3LYP/6-31G(d,p) computed proton and 13C NMR for the two “structures” (see my previous blog post for structures and background). These computations1 are at a more rigorous level than those performed by Rychnovsky, and the addition of the proton spectrum helps clearly settle this issue. Rychnovsky’s structure is the correct one – the mean absolute error between the experimental and computed structure is half that for Rychnovsky structure. The computed coupling constants also are in much better agreement with the Rychnovsky structure. So, Bagno’s contribution accomplishes, I hope, two things: (1) convinces everyone that DFT NMR spectra can be an important tool in identifying natural product structure and (2) closes the book on hexacylinol!


(1) Saielli, G.; Bagno, A., "Can Two Molecules Have the Same NMR Spectrum? Hexacyclinol Revisited," Org. Lett. 2009, 11, 1409-1412, DOI: 10.1021/ol900164a.