MetaCyc Pathways Class: Isoquinoline and Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloids Biosynthesis

Isoquinoline alkaloids constitute the group of the most abundant alkaloids in the plant kingdom. Isoquinolines are derived biosynthetically from the amino acid tyrosine generating the fundamental intermediate 3,4-dihydroxyphenylethylamine (dopamine) and carbonyl units of different origin. The carbonyl donor unit is an α-ketoacid for isoquinoline and an aldehyde, i.e. 4-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde in the case of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids. Some representatives of isoquinoline and benzylisoquinoline alkaloids such as berberine are widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Others are more restricted to certain plant families such as pellotine in the Cactaceae, cularine in the Fumariacea and morphine in the Papaveraceae. Morphine is still the most used painkiller in medicine. Other isoquinoline flavonoids such as codeine or papaverine are also considered useful medicinal drugs.

Parent Classes:
Alkaloids Biosynthesis

Child Classes:
(S)-reticuline biosynthesis (2)

(R)-canadine biosynthesis,
berberine biosynthesis,
bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis,
chelerythrine biosynthesis,
dehydroscoulerine biosynthesis,
magnoflorine biosynthesis,
morphine biosynthesis,
palmatine biosynthesis,
papaverine biosynthesis,
sanguinarine and macarpine biosynthesis

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Please cite the following article in publications resulting from the use of MetaCyc: Caspi et al, Nucleic Acids Research 42:D459-D471 2014
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