Probing Ergot Alkaloid Biosynthesis: Intermediates in the Formation of Ring C

Alan P. Kozikowski, Chinpiao Chen, Jiang Ping Wu, Masaaki Shibuya, Chun Gyu Kim, Heinz G. Floss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The mode of C-ring formation in ergot alkaloid biosynthesis was probed by synthesizing two potential intermediates, compounds 6 and 7, in deuterated form from the prenylated indole 8. Both compounds were incorporated into the ergot alkaloid elymoclavine by washed mycelia of Claviceps sp., strain SD 58, but only the formation of 7, and not 6, could be demonstrated in the cultures. Hence it is proposed that only 7 is an intermediate in ergot alkaloid biosynthesis, whereas 6 is not on the pathway but can be converted into 7 when added to the cultures. A pathway is proposed for the formation of ring C involving epoxidation of 7 at the terminal double bond and cyclization of the epoxide with simultaneous decarboxylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2482-2488
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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