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The Isolation and Characterization of β-N-Oxalyl-L-α,β-Diaminopropionic Acid: A Neurotoxin from the Seeds of Lathyrus sativus

Rao, SLN and Adiga, PR and Sarma, PS (1964) The Isolation and Characterization of β-N-Oxalyl-L-α,β-Diaminopropionic Acid: A Neurotoxin from the Seeds of Lathyrus sativus. In: Biochemistry, 3 (3). pp. 432-436.

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Official URL: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bi00891a022

Abstract

A neurotoxic compound has been isolated from the seeds of Lathyrus sativus in 0.5% yield and characterized as β-N-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid. The compound is highly acidic in character and forms oxalic acid and diaminopropionic acid on acid hydrolysis. The compound has a specific rotation of -36.9° and has apparent pK values in the order of 1.95, 2.95, and 9.25, corresponding to the two carboxyl and one amino functions, respectively. The compound has been synthesized by reacting an aqueous methanolic solution of the copper complex of L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid prepared at pH 4.5-5.0 with dimethyl oxalate under controlled pH conditions and isolating the compound by chromatography on a Dowex 50-H+ column after precipitating the copper. The compound induced severe neurological symptoms in day-old chicks at the level of 20 mg/chick, but not in rats or mice. It also inhibited the growth of several microorganisms and of the insect larva Corcyra cephalonica Staint. L-Homoarginine had no neural action in chicks. It is suggested that the neurotoxic compound is species specific in its action and may be related to "neurolathyrism" associated with the human consumption of L. sativus seeds.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Chemical Society.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Depositing User: Ms TV Yashodha
Date Deposited: 21 May 2010 05:21
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 06:44
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/27984

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