Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 333–353 | Cite as

Scopolamine: a journey from the field to clinics

  • Sophie Friederike Ullrich
  • Hansjörg Hagels
  • Oliver Kayser
Article

Abstract

Tropane alkaloids are present in many different plants of the Solanaceae family and widely known for their anticholinergic properties. Among them, most valued and increasingly demanded is scopolamine, also known under the name of hyoscine, which is used as pharmaceutical active substance in the treatment of postoperative nausea and vomiting, motion sickness and gastrointestinal, renal and biliary spasms for instance. It naturally occurs in various plant genera, e.g. Anisodus, Anthocercis, Atropa, Brugmansia, Datura, Duboisia, Hyoscyamus, Mandragora and Scopolia and the purified substance has a long history of use dating back to the nineteenth century. Until today, the supply in scopolamine is mainly covered by large scale field plant cultivation of hybrids between Duboisia myoporoides and Duboisia leichhardtii. Biotechnological approaches optimising the alkaloid biosynthesis, for example the use of callus cultures or genetically transformed hairy root cultures, are not competitive by now. The aim of this review is to give a comprehensive overview regarding the current knowledge on botanical origin, pharmacology, biosynthesis as well as agricultural and biotechnological production of scopolamine.

Keywords

Anticholinergics Hyoscine Solanaceae Tropane alkaloids 

Abbreviations

ArgDC

Arginine decarboxylase

CNS

Central nervous system

Cyp80F

Cytochrome P450 80F1

E. coli

Escherichia coli

GST-tag

Gluthation-S-transferase-tag

HIS-tag

Polyhistidine-tag

H6H/h6h

Hyoscyamine 6β-hydroxylase (enzyme/gene)

mAChR

Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors

MPO

N-methylputrescine oxidase

OrnDC

Ornithine decarboxylase

PMT/pmt

Putrescine N-methyltransferase (enzyme/gene)

S. cerevisiae

Saccharomyces cerevisiae

SAM

S-adenosylmethionine

TR-1/tr-1

Tropinone-reductase I (enzyme/gene)

TR-2/tr-2

Tropinone-reductase I (enzyme/gene)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Friederike Ullrich
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hansjörg Hagels
    • 1
  • Oliver Kayser
    • 2
  1. 1.Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH und Co. KGIngelheim am RheinGermany
  2. 2.Department of Technical BiochemistryTechnical University of DortmundDortmundGermany

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