Metabolism of Alkaloids by Bacteria and Animals

  • Trevor Robinson
Part of the Molecular Biology Biochemistry and Biophysics / Molekularbiologie Biochemie und Biophysik book series (MOLECULAR, volume 3)


While knowledge about the metabolism of alkaloids in the plants that synthesize them has only recently begun to be developed, pathways of alkaloid degradation by other organisms have been studied for many years, and in a few cases considerable detail is available. The special interest in this area arises, of course, from pharmacological effects of alkaloids, and therefore most studies relate to mammalian metabolism and to alkaloids of widespread use. It is frequently suggested that administered drugs are metabolically converted to the real physiologically active compounds. The metabolism of drugs is a subject of frequent review articles [13]; and since many drugs are either natural alkaloids or structurally related compounds, these reviews often include information pertinent to the present discussion. Where not specifically annotated, information in this chapter has been derived from Refs. [1] and [2]. The metabolism of alkaloids by microorganisms has received less attention than their mammalian metabolism, but there is practical reason for such studies, since products of microbial transformation of alkaloids may in some cases themselves be pharmacologically valuable or serve as intermediates for chemical syntheses.


Liver Microsome Tropane Alkaloid Isonicotinic Acid Isoquinoline Alkaloid Lysergic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trevor Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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