Friday, 1 February 2019

February Phytochemicals - malic acid and more!

Malic acid: gets its name from common apple (Malus domestica), the plant from which the acid was first isolated in the 1700s. Though an important acid in many fruits, it is also central to #CAM (an arid climate photosynthesis variant) as a CO2 storage unit. .

Inspired by @GoogleDoodlesaromatic heterocycles discovered by Friedlieb F. Runge, including quinoline (the core of the plant molecule quinine), pyrrole (a structure found in chlorophyll), and caffeine (evolved independently in tea, coffee, and cacao).

This week’s idea from @mishaploid: a prenylated furanocoumarin bergamottin found in some citrus spp. (grapefruit, pomelo, bergamot organge) that irreversibly inhibits drug-metabolizing P450 enzymes and can lead to accidental drug overdoses. Watch out!

Phorbol esters: acylated diterpenoids found in Euphorbiaceae (for example, Croton and Jatropha spp.). These poisonous compounds promote the growth of cancerous tumors and are used in biomedical studies of tumor formation and proliferation.