Planta Med 1991; 57: S1-S9
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-960222
Physiology and Chemistry of Natural Products

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

The Metabolism of a Natural Product: Lessons Learned from Cyanogenic Glycosides

Eric E. Conn
  • Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, Davis, California 95616, U.S.A.
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Publication History

Publication Date:
05 January 2007 (online)


The biosynthesis, compartmentation, and catabolism of cyanogenic glycosides are discussed for the cases of some selected examples. These include amygdalin (occurring widely in the Rosaceae), the aliphatic cyanogens linamarin and lotaustralin (widely occurring, especially in the Leguminosae), and dhurrin together with its epimer taxiphyllin (occurring in the genus Sorghum). Mechanistic studies including tracer experiments are described in detail. Unusual and even unique metabolites of amino acids have been identified as intermediates in these biosynthetic processes.