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Isolation and Identification of Alkaloids from Poisons of Fire Salamanders (Salamandra salamandra)

: Knepper, J.; Lüddecke, T.; Preißler, K.; Vences, M.; Schulz, S.


Journal of natural products 82 (2019), No.5, pp.1319-1324
ISSN: 0163-3864 (Print)
ISSN: 1520-6025 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()

Fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) are conspicuously colored amphibians secreting a skin poison that contains unique steroid alkaloids such as samandarine (1) and samadarone (2), exhibiting toxic as well as antimicrobial activities. Because of their antipredatory and anti-infectious functions, alkaloids from Salamandra poison are of interest with regard to the threat that the lethal fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses to salamanders. Nevertheless, reliable data on the biological activity of Salamandra alkaloids are scarce, in part due to the difficulty to obtain and study those substances. Thus, isolation of pure salamander alkaloids is an important task that might directly contribute to the understanding of Bsal infections. Here we present a noninvasive isolation procedure for samandarine (1) and O-acetylsamandarine (3), as well as for two new alkaloids, O-3-hydroxybutanoylsamandarine (4) and samanone (6), using HPLC. For the first time, high-field NMR data are presented for these alkaloids. Analysis using GC/MS and ESI+-MS, provided important information on the structural variability of these salamander alkaloids.