Biosynthesis of hermidin from Mercurialis annua: A retrobiosynthetic study

Elena Ostrozhenkova, Avi Golan-Goldhirsh, Adelbert Bacher, Wolfgang Eisenreich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cut seedlings of Mercurialis annua L. were supplied with solutions containing [1-13C1]glucose or [U-13C4,15N1]aspartate. After 5-7 days, the pyridinone-type chromogen, hermidin, was isolated and analyzed by NMR spectroscopy. In the experiment with [1-13C1]glucose, five single-labelled isotopomers of hermidin were detected at high abundances (2.7-1.8 mol%). In the experiment with [U-13C4,15N1]aspartate, contiguous labelling was observed for carbon atoms 2 and 3 and the nitrogen atom in hermidin. The labelling patterns of hermidin and of amino acids from the same experiments rule out predominant formation of the pyridinone by pathways resembling the biosyntheses of vitamin-B6, anabasine, or polyketides, but suggest a pathway by condensation of aspartate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate affording nicotinate as a precursor of hermidin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-37
Number of pages5
JournalPhytochemistry Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 Mar 2010


  • Alkaloid
  • Annual mercury
  • Biosynthesis
  • Chromogen
  • Euphorbiaceae
  • Hermidin
  • Mercurialis annua
  • Pyridinone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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