A Pyridine Dearomatization Approach to the Matrine-type Lupin Alkaloids

27 May 2022, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


(+)-Matrine and (+)-isomatrine are tetracyclic alkaloids isolated from the plant Sophora flavescens, the roots of which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Biosynthetically, these alkaloids are proposed to derive from three molecules of (–)-lysine via the intermediacy of the unstable cyclic imine Δ1-piperidine. Inspired by the biosynthesis, a new dearomative annulation reaction has been developed that leverages pyridine as a stable surrogate for Δ1-piperidine. In this key transformation, two molecules of pyridine are joined with a molecule of glutaryl chloride to give the complete tetracyclic framework of the matrine alkaloids in a single step. Using this dearomative annulation, (+)-isomatrine is synthesized in four steps from inexpensive commercially available chemicals. (+)-Isomatrine then serves as the precursor to additional lupin alkaloids, including (+)-matrine, (+)-allomatrine, (+)-isosophoridine, and (–)-sophoridine.


lupin alkaloids
dearomative annulation

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Materials: Experimental Procedures
Experimental procedures and characterization data for all compounds. X-Ray crystallography coordinates and computational details.


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.