Polyhydroxylated alkaloids isolated from mulberry trees (Morus alba L.) and silkworms (Bombyx mori L.)

Naoki Asano, Toru Yamashita, Kayo Yasuda, Kyoko Ikeda, Haruhisa Kizu, Yukihiko Kameda, Atsushi Kato, Robert J. Nash, Heui S. Lee, Kang S. Ryu

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343 Citations (SciVal)


New polyhydroxylated alkaloids, (2R,3R,4R)-2-hydroxymethyl-3,4-dihydroxypyrrolidine-N-propionamide from the root bark of Morus alba L., and 4-O-α-d-galactopyranosyl-calystegine B2 and 3β,6β-dihydroxynortropane from the fruits, were isolated by column chromatography using a variety of ion-exchange resins. Fifteen other polyhydroxylated alkaloids were also isolated. 1-Deoxynojirimycin, a potent α-glucosidase inhibitor, was concentrated 2.7-fold by silkworms feeding on mulberry leaves. Some alkaloids contained in mulberry leaves were potent inhibitors of mammalian digestive glycosidases but not inhibitors of silkworm midgut glycosidases, suggesting that the silkworm has enzymes specially adapted to enable it to feed on mulberry leaves. The possibility of preventing the onset of diabetes and obesity using natural dietary supplements containing 1-deoxynojirimycin and other α-glucosidase inhibitors in high concentration is of great potential interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4208-4213
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2001


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