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General Information
in plant-derived ajmalan alkaloid pathways, the biosynthetic intermediate vomilenine can be transformed into the anti-arrhythmic compound ajmaline, or alternatively, can isomerize to form perakine, an alkaloid with a structurally distinct scaffold. Enzyme vinorine hydroxylase, a cytochrome P450 enzyme, hydroxylates vinorine to form vomilenine, which exists as a mixture of rapidly interconverting epimers (with 21-epi-vomilenine). The cytochrome P450 also catalyzes the non-oxidative isomerization of the ajmaline precursor vomilenine to perakine. Alkaloid network in Rauwolfia serpentina from strictosidine, overview
proposed reaction mechanism for the isomerization of vomilenine to perakine, the introduction of a hydroxy group at C-21 allows opening of the ring via the newly formed hemiaminal. The resulting amine can then undergo a Michael addition to form perakine, overview. The conversion of vomilenine into perakine is enzymatically catalyzed by vinorine hydroxylase
physiological function
the unusual dual catalytic activity of vinorine hydroxylase provides a control mechanism for the bifurcation of the alkaloid pathway branches
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