Racemic andransinine (1), an indole alkaloid derivative obtained during isolation of alkaloids from Alstonia angustiloba and Kopsia pauciflora, was found to undergo spontaneous resolution when crystallized in EtOAc, forming racemic conglomerates (an equimolar mechanical mixture of enantiomerically pure individual crystals). X-ray analyses of the enantiomers (obtained from crystals from EtOAc solution and from chiral-phase HPLC) provided the absolute configuration of each enantiomer as (15R,16S,21R)-(+)-andransinine (1a or I+) and (15S,16R,21S)-(-)-andransinine (1b or I-).
Eight new indole alkaloids (1-8) belonging to the rhazinilam-leuconolam-leuconoxine group, in addition to 52 other alkaloids, were isolated from the stem-bark extract of Leuconotis griffithii, viz., nor-rhazinicine (1), 5,21-dihydrorhazinilam-N-oxide (2), 3,14-dehydroleuconolam (3), and leuconodines A-E (4-8). The structures of these alkaloids were determined using NMR and MS analyses and in some instances confirmed by X-ray diffraction analyses. Alkaloids 1, 5, and 7 showed only moderate to weak cytotoxicity toward KB cells (IC50 12-18 μg/mL), while 8 showed moderate activity in reversing MDR in vincristine-resistant KB cells.
Four new linearly fused bisindole alkaloids, lumutinines A-D (1-4), were isolated from the stem-bark extract of Alstonia macrophylla. Lumutinines A (1) and B (2) represent the first examples of linear, ring A/F-fused macroline-macroline-type bisindoles, while lumutinines C (3) and D (4) were constituted from the union of macroline and sarpagine moieties. A reinvestigation of the stereochemical assignment of alstoumerine (8) by NMR and X-ray diffraction analyses indicated that the configuration at C-16 and C-19 required revision.
The effect of ortho'-substituted side chains bearing nucleophilic groups such as CH2OH, CH2NHR, and CO2H on the reactivity of anodically generated 4-methoxy- and 3,4-dimethoxystilbene cation radicals was investigated, and results were compared with those of substrates where the nucleophilic groups such as OH and NHR are directly attached to the aromatic ring. It was found that when ortho'-substituted groups such as CH2OH or CH2NHR are present in the other ring, only direct intramolecular cation-nucleophile reactions occur to give bisbenzopyrans or bisisoquinolines. Crossover products (previously obtained when the ortho' substituents were OH and NH2) such as the fused benzoxepanes/fused benzoazepanes were not formed. When the ortho' substituent is COOH, direct intramolecular cation-nucleophile reaction occurs to give the corresponding bis-δ-lactones in high yield. The presence of an additional 3-methoxy substituent resulted in the formation of other fused polycyclic products due to competing aromatic substitution reactions. Reaction pathways leading to the different products and reasons for the difference in behavior shown by the present stilbenes are presented. The results have provided additional insight into the reactivity and behavior of anodically generated stilbene cation radicals.
The present investigation represents a continuation of studies on the effect of ortho'-substitution on the reactivity of anodically generated methoxystilbene cation radicals. Whereas previous studies have focused on the effect of ortho'-substituted nucleophilic groups such as OH, NH2, CH2OH, CH2NH2, and COOH, the present study extends the investigation to ortho'-substituted vinyl and formyl groups. The results show that when the ortho'-substituent is a vinyl group, the products include a bisdihydronaphthalene derivative and a doubly bridged, dibenzofused cyclononane from direct trapping of a bis carbocation intermediate. In the presence of an additional 3-methoxy substituent, the products are the tetracyclic chrysene derivatives. When the ortho'-substituent is a nonnucleophilic formyl group, the products include fused indanylnaphthalenes and indanylbenzopyran aldehydes. When an additional 3-methoxy group is present, an unusual fused benzofluorene-dibenzoannulene product is obtained. Mechanistic rationalization for the formation of the various products is presented. The results have contributed to a deeper understanding of how the reactivity of the methoxystilbene cation radicals is affected by the nature of the ortho'-substituents.
Plants synthesize many diverse small molecules that affect function of the mammalian central nervous system, making them crucial sources of therapeutics for neurological disorders. A notable portion of neuroactive phytochemicals are lysine-derived alkaloids, but the mechanisms by which plants produce these compounds have remained largely unexplored. To better understand how plants synthesize these metabolites, we focused on biosynthesis of the Lycopodium alkaloids that are produced by club mosses, a clade of plants used traditionally as herbal medicines. Hundreds of Lycopodium alkaloids have been described, including huperzine A (HupA), an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor that has generated interest as a treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Through combined metabolomic profiling and transcriptomics, we have identified a developmentally controlled set of biosynthetic genes, or potential regulon, for the Lycopodium alkaloids. The discovery of this putative regulon facilitated the biosynthetic reconstitution and functional characterization of six enzymes that act in the initiation and conclusion of HupA biosynthesis. This includes a type III polyketide synthase that catalyzes a crucial imine-polyketide condensation, as well as three Fe(II)/2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase (2OGD) enzymes that catalyze transformations (pyridone ring-forming desaturation, piperidine ring cleavage, and redox-neutral isomerization) within downstream HupA biosynthesis. Our results expand the diversity of known chemical transformations catalyzed by 2OGDs and provide mechanistic insight into the function of noncanonical type III PKS enzymes that generate plant alkaloid scaffolds. These data offer insight into the chemical logic of Lys-derived alkaloid biosynthesis and demonstrate the tightly coordinated coexpression of secondary metabolic genes for the biosynthesis of medicinal alkaloids.
Eleven new indole alkaloids (1-11) comprising seven aspidofractinine and four eburnane alkaloids, were isolated from the stem-bark extract of Kopsia pauciflora occurring in Malaysian Borneo. The aspidofractinine alkaloids include a ring-contracted, an additional ring-fused, a paucidactine regioisomer, two paucidactine, and one kopsine alkaloid. The structures of several of these alkaloids were also confirmed by X-ray diffraction analyses. The bisindole alkaloids isolated, norpleiomutine and kopsoffinol, showed in vitro growth inhibitory activity against human PC-3, HCT-116, MCF-7, and A549 cells and moderate effects in reversing multidrug-resistance in vincristine-resistant human KB cells.
Two new indole alkaloids characterized by previously unencountered natural product skeletons, viz., criofolinine (1), incorporating a pyrroloazepine motif within a pentacyclic ring system, and vernavosine (2, isolated as its ethyl ether derivative 3, which on hydrolysis regenerated the putative precursor alkaloid 2), incorporating a pyridopyrimidine moiety embedded within a pentacyclic carbon framework, were isolated from a Malayan Tabernaemontana species. The structures and absolute configuration of these alkaloids were determined on the basis of NMR and MS analysis and confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis.
Eleven indole alkaloids, comprising four corynanthean, two eburnane, one aspidofractinine, one secoleuconoxine, one andranginine, and two pauciflorine type alkaloids were isolated from the stem-bark and leaf extracts of Kopsia pauciflora. Their structures were determined using NMR and MS analyses. The catharinensine type alkaloid kopsirensine B and the secoleuconoxine alkaloid arboloscine A showed moderate to weak activity in reversing MDR in vincristine-resistant KB cells. The alkaloid content was markedly different compared to that of a sample from Malaysian Borneo.
Seven new indole alkaloids (1-7) comprising four vobasine, two tacaman, and one corynanthe-tryptamine bisindole alkaloid were isolated from the stem-bark extract of a Malayan Tabernaemontana. Two of the new vobasine alkaloids (1, 3), as well as 16-epivobasine (15) and 16-epivobasenal (17), showed appreciable cytotoxicity toward KB cells (IC50 ca. 5 μg/mL). The structure of the known Tabernaemontana alkaloid tronoharine (8) was revised based on newly acquired NMR data, as well as X-ray diffraction analysis.
A total of 20 new indole alkaloids comprising mainly oxidized derivatives of macroline- (including alstofonidine, a macroline indole incorporating a butyrolactone ring-F), pleiocarpamine-, and sarpagine-type alkaloids were isolated from the bark and leaf extracts of Alstonia angustifolia. The structures and relative configurations of these alkaloids were determined using NMR and MS analyses and in some instances confirmed by X-ray diffraction analyses. Alkaloids 3, 7, 35, and 41 showed moderate to weak activity, while 21 showed strong activity in reversing multidrug resistance in vincristine-resistant KB cells.
A systematic study of the electrochemical oxidation of 1,2-diarylalkenes was carried out with the focus on detailed product studies and variation of product type as a function of aromatic substitution. A reinvestigation of the electrochemical oxidation of 4,4'-dimethoxystilbene under various conditions was first carried out, and all products formed were fully characterized and quantitated. This was followed by a systematic investigation of the effect of aromatic substitution on the nature and distribution of the products. The aromatic substituents were found to fall into three main categories, viz., substrates in which the nature and position of the aromatic substituents gave rise to essentially the same products as 4,4'-dimethoxystilbene, for example, tetraaryltetrahydrofurans, dehydrotetralins, and aldehydes (p-MeO or p-NMe2 on one ring and X on the other ring, where X = o-MeO or p-alkyl, or m- or p-EWG; e.g., 4-methoxy-4'-trifluoromethylstilbene); those that gave rise to a mixture of indanyl (or tetralinyl) acetamides and dehydrotetralins (or pallidols) (both or one ring substituted by alkyl groups, e.g., 4,4'-dimethylstilbene); and those where strategic placement of donor groups, such as OMe and OH, led to the formation of ampelopsin F and pallidol-type carbon skeletons (e.g., 4,3',4'-trimethoxystilbene). Reaction pathways to rationalize the formation of the different products are presented.
Several transformations of the seco Aspidosperma alkaloid leuconolam were carried out. The based-induced reaction resulted in cyclization to yield two epimers, the major product corresponding to the optical antipode of a (+)-meloscine derivative. The structures and relative configuration of the products were confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Reaction of leuconolam and epi-leuconolam with various acids, molecular bromine, and hydrogen gave results that indicated that the structure of the alkaloid, previously assigned as epi-leuconolam, was incorrect. This was confirmed by an X-ray diffraction analysis, which revealed that epi-leuconolam is in fact 6,7-dehydroleuconoxine. Short partial syntheses of the diazaspiro indole alkaloid leuconoxine and the new leuconoxine-type alkaloids leuconodines A and F were carried out.
A total of seventeen alkaloids, comprising six macroline (including alstofolinine A, a macroline indole incorporating a butyrolactone ring-E), two ajmaline, one sarpagine, and eight akuammiline alkaloids, were isolated from the stem-bark and leaf extracts of the Malayan Alstonia macrophylla. The structure and relative configurations of these alkaloids were established using NMR, MS and in several instances, confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Six of these alkaloids were effective in reversing multidrug-resistance (MDR) in vincristine-resistant KB cells.
Two new indole alkaloids, voatinggine (1) and tabertinggine (2), which are characterized by previously unencountered natural product skeletons, were isolated from a Malayan Tabernaemontana species. The structures and absolute configuration of these alkaloids were determined using NMR and MS analysis, and X-ray diffraction analysis. A possible biogenetic pathway to these novel alkaloids from an iboga precursor, and via a common cleavamine-type intermediate, is presented.
Three new bisindole alkaloids of the macroline-macroline type, perhentidines A-C (1-3), were isolated from the stem-bark extract of Alstonia macrophylla and Alstonia angustifolia. The structures of these alkaloids were established on the basis of NMR and MS analyses. The absolute configurations of perhentinine (4) and macralstonine (5) were established by X-ray diffraction analyses, which facilitated assignment of the configuration at C-20 in the regioisomeric bisindole alkaloids perhentidines A-C (1-3). A potentially useful method for the determination of the configuration at C-20 based on comparison of the NMR chemical shifts of the bisindoles and their acetate derivatives, in these and related bisindoles with similar constitution and branching of the monomeric units, is also presented.
A total of 20 alkaloids were isolated from the leaf and stem-bark extracts of Alstonia angustiloba, of which two are hitherto unknown. One is an alkaloid of the angustilobine type (angustilobine C), while the other is a bisindole alkaloid angustiphylline, derived from the union of uleine and secovallesamine moieties. The structures of these alkaloids were established using NMR and MS analysis. Angustilobine C showed moderate cytotoxicity towards KB cells.
Leucofoline and leuconoline, representing the first members of the aspidospermatan-aspidospermatan and eburnane-sarpagine subclasses of the bisindole alkaloids, respectively, were isolated from the Malayan Leuconotis griffithii. The structures of these bisindole alkaloids were established using NMR and MS analysis, and in the case of leuconoline, confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. Both alkaloids showed weak cytotoxicity towards human KB cells.
A total of 25 alkaloids were isolated from the leaf and stem-bark extracts of Alstonia spatulata, of which five are new alkaloids of the strychnan type (alstolucines A-E, 1-5) and the other, a new alkaloid of the secoangustilobine A type (alstolobine A, 6). The structures of these alkaloids were established using NMR and MS analysis and, in the case of alstolucine B (2), also confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. A reinvestigation of the stereochemical assignment of scholaricine (13) by NMR and X-ray analyses indicated that the configuration at C-20 required revision. Alkaloids 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13 reversed multidrug resistance in vincristine-resistant KB cells.
Seven new indole alkaloids of the Strychnos type, leuconicines A-G (1-7), and a new eburnan alkaloid, (-)-eburnamaline (8), were isolated from the stem-bark extract of two Malayan Leuconotis species. The structures of these alkaloids were established using NMR and MS analysis and in the case of 8 also by partial synthesis. Alkaloids 1-5 reversed multidrug resistance in vincristine-resistant KB cells.