An overview of saturated cyclic ethers: Biological profiles and synthetic strategies

Qili Lu, Dipesh S. Harmalkar, Yongseok Choi, Kyeong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Saturated oxygen heterocycles are widely found in a broad array of natural products and other biologically active molecules. In medicinal chemistry, small and medium rings are also important synthetic intermediates since they can undergo ring-opening and -expansion reactions. These applications have driven numerous studies on the synthesis of oxygen-containing heterocycles and considerable effort has been devoted toward the development of methods for the construction of saturated oxygen heterocycles. This paper provides an overview of the biological roles and synthetic strategies of saturated cyclic ethers, covering some of the most studied and newly discovered related natural products in recent years. This paper also reports several promising and newly developed synthetic methods, emphasizing 3–7 membered rings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3778
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 21

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: The authors acknowledge the National Research Foundation of Korea’s (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF 2018R1A5A2023127) for the financial support of this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 by the authors.


  • Cyclic ethers
  • Saturated oxygen heterocycles
  • Total synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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