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Journal of natural products


Millipedes (Diplopoda) are well known for their toxic or repellent defensive secretions. Here, we describe (6aR,10aS,10bR)-8,8-dimethyldodecahydropyrrolo[2,1-a]isoquinoline [trans-anti-trans-deoxybuzonamine (1a)] and (rel-6aR,10aR,10bR)-8,8-dimethyldodecahydropyrrolo[2,1-a]isoquinoline [trans-syn-cis-deoxybuzonamine (1b)], two isomers of deoxybuzonamine found in the chemical defense secretions of the millipede Brachycybe lecontii Wood (Colobognatha, Platydesmida, Andrognathidae). The carbon–nitrogen skeleton of these compounds was determined from their MS and GC-FTIR spectra obtained from the MeOH extract of whole millipedes, along with a subsequent selective synthesis. Their structures were established from their 1D (¹H, ¹³C) and 2D NMR (COSY, NOESY, multiplicity-edited HSQC, HSQC-TOCSY, HMBC) spectra. Additionally, computational chemistry (DFT and DP4) was used to identify the relative configurations of 1a and 1b by comparing predicted ¹³C data to their experimental values, and the absolute configuration of 1a was determined by comparing its experimental specific rotation with that of the computationally calculated value. This is the first report of dodecahydropyrrolo[2,1-a]isoquinoline alkaloids from a platydesmidan millipede.

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