The Poppy botanical family Papaveraceae

The Poppy botanical family (Papaveraceae) contains L-tyrosine (Figure 12) derived alkaloids such as morphine, codeine, thebanine, papaverine, narcotine, narceine, isoboldine and salsolinol. The Poppy family is relatively large, comprising 26 genera and about 250 species. The family is distributed in the sub-tropical and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere (Table 5). The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) is a known source of opium from its latex. The Poppy family alkaloids have strong biological and medicinal impact. They are also strong narcotics.

Table 5 General botanical characteristics of the Poppy family314-316-320

Botanical Forms and Parts

Characteristics

Botanical forms

Herbs

Some typical genera

Adlumia

Arctomecon

Argemone

Canbya

Chelidonium

Corydalis

Dendromecon

Dicentra

Eschscholzia

Fumaria

Hesperomecon

Meconella

Papaver

Platystemon

Romneya

Sanguinaria

Stylophorum

Special characteristics

Milky juice

Stem with vascular bundles

Leaves

Usually lobed or dissected

Flowers

Bisexual

Regular

Red

Violet

Yellow

White

2 sepals

Fruits

Capsules

Seeds

Dark seed in the capsule

However, many new alkaloids have been reported on within this family. From greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), widespread in Central Europe, such alkaloids as sanguinarine, cholidonine, hydrastine, berberine and chelerythine have been isolated7980. Phytochemical investigation of Glaucium leiocarpum Boiss. revealed 11 isolated alkaloids: (+)-glaucine, 6,6a-dehydronorglaucine, oxoglaucine, (+)-N-methylglaucine, (+)-lastourviline, (+)-predicentrine, (+)-dihydropontevedrine, secoglaucine, (—)-N-methylcoclaurine, allocryptopine and protopine81. Glaucium paucilobum contains stylopine, protopine, a-allocryptopine, bulbocapnine, corydine, isoco-rydine, crabbine and arosine82. Twenty-three isoquinoline alkaloids have been isolated from Corydalis bulleyana Diels. Hao and Qicheng83 have reported on such alkaloids as protopine, (+)-consperine, (+)-acetylcorynoline, dihydrosangunarine, (+)-acetylisocorynoline, (±)stylopine, (+)-corynoline, (+)-corynoloxine, (+)-isocorynoline, (—)-chelanthifoline, corycavanine, (+)-scoulerine, (+)-isoboldine, acetylcorydamine, allocryptopine, corydamine, bulleyamine, (+)-6-acetonylcorynoline, (+)-12-formyloxycorynoline, (+)-6-oxoacetylcorynoline, (+)-12-hydroxycorynoline, (+)-bulleyanaline and (+)-norjuziphine. Corydalis bulleyana Diels is used in traditional medicine as a febrifuge, antidote or analgesic. Moreover, other species of this genus such as Corydalis amabilis Migo, Corydalis yanhusao W. T. Wang, Corydalis ambigua Cham and Schlecht, Corydalis bungeana Turcz. and Corydalis incisa Thunb. are also used in folk medicine in China. They contain identical or similar alkaloids as C. bulleyana Diels.83. Jain et al.84 have reported on (±)-cheilanthifoline and hunnemanine from Eschscholzia californica Cham.

L-tyrosine (Figure 12) derived alkaloids such as bicuculline and metio-dine occur in the genera Bleeding heart (Corydalis L.) and Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra L.). From the species Corydalis flabellata Edgew, many alkaloids have been isolated: sibiricine, severzinine168, 6-(2-hydroxyethyl)-5-6-dihydrosanguinarine, 6-acetonyl-5,6-dihydrosanguinarine, 6-acetonyl-5,6-dihydrosanguinarine, N-methyl-2,3,7,8-tetramethoxy-6-oxo-5,6-dihydrobenzophenanthridine, oxosanguinarine, spallidamine, 6-acetonyl-5,6-dihydrochelerythrine, 6-oxochelerythrine and sanguidimerine133. These alkaloids are well known for their biological activity. For example, spallidamine has been found to display fungitoxic activity169. Fumaria bracteosa Pomel is characterized by the presence of (+)-adlumidine, (+)-a-hydrastine, (+)-bicucullidine and protopine170.

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