By Trevor Robinson Ph. D. (auth.)
The alkaloids have been of significant significance to mankind for hundreds of years, lengthy prior to they have been well-known . as a chemical type. The effect they've got had on literature is hinted at by means of many of the quotations i've got used as bankruptcy headings. Their impression on folklore and on medication has been even higher. The medical research of alkaloids can be acknowledged to have started with the isolation of morphine by way of Sertiirner in 1804. on account that that point they've got remained of significant curiosity to chemists, and now in any month there seem dozens of guides facing the isolation of recent alkaloids or the decision of the buildings of formerly identified ones. the realm of alkaloid biochemistry, compared, has obtained little cognizance and this present day is far much less constructed. there's a certain quantity of non-public arbitrariness in defining "bio chemistry", as there's in defining "alkaloid", and this arbitrariness is without doubt compounded by means of the combo. however, it kind of feels to me that during any attention of the biochemistry of a gaggle of compounds 3 facets are continually important of attention-pathways of biosynthesis, functionality or job, and pathways of deterioration. For the alkaloids, remedy of those 3 elements is unavoidably lopsided. a lot has been realized approximately routes of biosynthesis, yet info at the different elements is especially scanty. it might be attainable to go into into a few hypothesis in regards to the biosynthesis of the entire greater than 4,000 recognized alkaloids.
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Additional resources for The Biochemistry of Alkaloids
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Dioscorine of Dioscorea hispida is made from nicotinic acid plus a C s unit from acetate . Dioscorine Ricinine The most intensively studied of the pyridine alkaloids with a single heterocyclic ring is ricinine (I) of the castor bean plant (Ricinus communis). The advantages of ricinine as an object of study are that the plant is easily grown and that it contains high concentrations of only one alkaloid. Ricinine synthesis is clearly associated with rapid growth both in whole plants  and in isolated root cultures .
Phaseolus spp. convert histidine to urocanic acid (imidazoleacrylic acid) [57,84]. Histidine is also presumably a precursor of several imidazole alkaloids (Chap. 12). 31 Simple Amino Acid Derivatives and Protoalkaloids N----rr-I CH=CHCOOH llN.. T)l -- H Urocanic Acid Histidine Histamine References 1. ]. 55,817-820 (1953) 2. : Phytochemistry 12, 443-446 (1973) 3. : Biochem. Physiol. 173, 340-346 (1978) 4. : Arzneim. Forsch. 9, 22-26 (1959) 5. : Plant Physiol. 61,46-49 (1978) 6. : Experientia 23,139-140 (1967) 7.