Alkaloids Derived from Histidine: Imidazole (Pilocarpine, Pilosine)

Reference work entry


This chapter will cover the alkaloids containing the imidazole nucleus which is the smallest group of alkaloids in terms of number of compounds known. This class of alkaloids is synthesized by precursors derived directly from the amino acid, l-histidine. The known structures can be divided in those derived from histamine as a precursor and the other ones called Pilocarpus alkaloids that contained a distinct precursor. The state of the art on the biosynthesis of these alkaloids, biotechnological approaches for their production, and their biological activity are also discussed.


Biological activities Biosynthesis Cell culture Histidine derivatives Imidazole alkaloids Pilocarpus alkaloids Plant sources 



13C Nuclear magnetic resonance


1H Nuclear magnetic resonance


2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid




Central nervous system


Electron spray ionization – mass spectrometry


Gibberellin A3


Histidine decarboxylase


High performance liquid chromatography


High performance liquid chromatography with electrospray Ionization tandem mass spectrometry


Histidine aminotransferase


International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

MS medium

Medium Murashige and Skoog


Polyethylene glycol



PRH Moreno is indebted to CNPq for the research grant.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia de São PauloCapivari-SPBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Química de Produtos Naturais, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São PauloSão Paulo-SPBrazil

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