Enzymatic Synthesis of Papiliochrome II

  • Y. Umebachi
  • T. Yokoyama
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 294)


Papiliochrome II is the pale yellow pigment in the wings of Papilio butterflies. The structure has been reported to be Nar- [α-(3-amino-propionyl-aminomethyl)-3, 4-dihydroxybenzyl]-L-kynurenine, which consists of one molecule each of L-kynurenine and N-β-alanyldopamine (NBAD) (Rembold and Umebachi, 1984). There are two kinds of isomers with different optical activity, called IIA and lib. Both isomers readily decompose to L-kynurenine and N-β-alanylnorepinephrine (NBANE) by being heated in 102 N HC1 at 100°C for 2 hr. The latter compound decomposes further to ß-alanine and (±)-norepine-phrine by being heated in 1 N HC1 at 100°C for 2 hr (Umebachi and Yamashita, 1977; Umebachi, 1985). The structure of this pigment is interesting in that the aromatic amino group of kynurenine is bonded to the β-carbon of the side chain of catecholamine.


Amino Acid Analysis Enzymatic Synthesis Pupal Stage Mushroom Tyrosinase Quinone Methide 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Umebachi
    • 1
  • T. Yokoyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biology Faculty of ScienceKanazawa UniversityKanazawa 920Japan

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