Reference Work Entry

Natural Products

pp 405-460

Date:

Alkaloids Derived from Tyrosine: Modified Benzyltetrahydroisoquinoline Alkaloids

  • Feroz KhanAffiliated withMetabolic and Structural Biology Department, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Email author 
  • , Tabish QidwaiAffiliated withMetabolic and Structural Biology Department, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
  • , Rakesh K. ShuklaAffiliated withBiotechnology Division, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
  • , Vikrant GuptaAffiliated withBiotechnology Division, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

Abstract

Secondary metabolites are produced by plants in response to biotic or abiotic interactions with their environment and confer protection through a variety of antimicrobial, pesticidal, and pharmacological properties. Alkaloids are a class of plant secondary metabolites that traditionally have been classified as basic compounds derived from amino acids that contain one or more heterocyclic nitrogen atom. About 20 % of plant species accumulate alkaloids, which are mostly derived from amino acids, e.g., phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, and lysine. The alkaloids are popular for their medicinal importance. The pharmaceutically important representatives of secondary metabolites are mostly alkaloids derived from tyrosine. In this chapter, we summarized the prior information, basic knowledge about the alkaloids, origin, physicochemical properties, uses, classification, biosynthetic reactions, and distribution of tyrosine-derived alkaloids especially opium alkaloids and their biosynthetic pathways in plants. We have also reviewed different web resources related to alkaloids and secondary metabolic pathway databases such as KEGG.

Keywords

Anticancer antimalarial classification of alkaloids isoquinoline alkaloids KEGG tyrosine alkaloid biosynthesis