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The hitherto unknown (±)-4-methoxydecanoic acid was synthesized in six steps and in 25% overall yield starting from commercially available 4-penten-1-ol. The title compound demonstrated 17-fold higher antifungal activity (MIC = 1.5 mM) against Candida albicans ATCC 60193 and Cryptococcus neoformans ATCC 66031 when compared to unsubstituted n-decanoic acid. Our results demonstrate that mid-chain methoxylation appears to be a viable strategy for increasing the fungitoxicity of fatty acids.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Tetrahedron Letters. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Tetrahedron Letters, volume 50, issue 41, in 2009. DOI: 10.1016/j.tetlet.2009.07.074

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