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Biosynthetic Enantiodivergence in the Eburnane Alkaloids from Kopsia

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posted on 2017-10-31, 16:34 authored by Kam-Weng Chong, Joanne Soon-Yee Yeap, Siew-Huah Lim, Jean-Frédéric F. Weber, Yun-Yee Low, Toh-Seok Kam
Reexamination of the absolute configuration of recently isolated eburnane alkaloids from Malaysian Kopsia and Leuconotis species by X-ray diffraction analysis and ECD/TDDFT has revealed the existence of biosynthetic enantiodivergence. Three different scenarios are discerned with respect to the composition of the enantiomeric eburnane alkaloids in these plants: first, where the new eburnane congeners possess the same C-20, C-21 absolute configurations as the common eburnane alkaloids (eburnamonine, eburnamine, isoeburnamine, eburnamenine) occurring in the same plant; second, where the new eburnane congeners possess opposite or enantiomeric C-20, C-21 absolute configurations compared to the common eburnane alkaloids found in the same plant; and, third, where the four common eburnane alkaloids were isolated as racemic or scalemic mixtures, while the new eburnane congeners were isolated as pure enantiomers with a common C-20, C-21 configuration (20α, 21α). Additionally, the same Kopsia species (K. pauciflora) found in two different geographical locations (Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo) showed different patterns in the composition of the enantiomeric eburnane alkaloids. Revision of the absolute configurations of a number of new eburnane congeners (previously assigned based on the assumption of a common biogenetic origin to that of the known eburnane alkaloids co-occurring in the same plant) is required based on the present results.