Chemistry and biological activity of alkaloids from the genus Schizanthus

  • Philippe ChristenEmail author
  • Sylvian Cretton
  • Munir Humam
  • Stefan Bieri
  • Orlando Muñoz
  • Pedro Joseph-Nathan


The genus Schizanthus (Solanaceae) comprises 12 accepted species primarily endemic to Chile. It is characterized by the presence of numerous tropane alkaloids found as ester derivatives of isomeric acids like angelic, senecioic, or tiglic, as well as mesaconic, itaconic, and citraconic acids, leading to numerous positional and configurational isomers. Up to now 50 alkaloids with these esters have been isolated and most of them are fully characterized. Analytical methods and techniques engaged during the investigation of this class of compounds, as well as their identification capabilities, are discussed. In several cases the absolute configuration is also well established, and some alkaloids are reported as biologically active. This review summarizes updated information on the distribution, botanical characteristics, phytochemical, and pharmacological knowledges of this genus up to mid-2018.


Solanaceae Tropane ester derivatives Analysis Configurational and positional isomers Absolute configuration 



Absolute configuration




Capillary electrophoresis


Correlation spectroscopy




Density functional theory


Electronic circular dichroism


Electron impact


Flame ionization detector


Fourier transform infrared


Gas chromatography


Heteronuclear multiple bond correlation


High performance liquid chromatography


High performance thin-layer chromatography


High-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectrometry


Heteronuclear single-quantum correlation




Ion trap mass spectrometry


International union of pure and applied chemistry


Liquid–liquid extraction


Micellar electrokinetic chromatography


Mass spectrometry


Molecular weight


Non aqueous capillary electrophoresis


Nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy


Nuclear magnetic resonance


Porous graphitic carbon


1-Naphthaleneacetic acid


Nitrogen phosphorus detector


Solid phase extraction


Time dependent density functional theory


Thin-layer chromatography


Time-of-flight mass spectrometry


Ultra-high performance liquid chromatography




Vibrational circular dichroism



The authors want to thank Dr José San Martin, Departamento de Botanica, Universidad de Talca (Chile) for the identification of the plant material.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Geneva, University of LausanneGeneva 4Switzerland
  2. 2.Departamento de Química, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.Departamento de QuímicaCentro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico NacionalMexico CityMexico

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