Org. Lett., ASAP Article 10.1021/ol016820d S1523-7060(01)06820-1
Web Release Date: November 3, 2001

This paper was published in Organic Letters 2001, volume 3(24): 3935-3937.

Copyright © 2001 American Chemical Society

Salvinorin C, a New Neoclerodane Diterpene from a Bioactive Fraction of the Hallucinogenic Mexican Mint Salvia divinorum

Leander J. Valdés III,* Hui-Ming Chang, Daniel C. Visger, and Masato Koreeda*

University of Michigan Hospital, Pharmacy Services, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, School of Pharmacy, Northeast Louisiana University, Monroe, Louisiana 71209, and Departments of Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

koreeda@umich.edu
Received September 26, 2001

Abstract:

Salvinorin C (1), a minor component from a biologically active TLC fraction, was isolated from the leaves of the Mexican mint Salvia divinorum. Its structure was elucidated on the basis of extensive proton and C-13 NMR experiments, as well as by comparison of the NMR data with those of the mono- and diacetate derivatives 5-7 of the major NaBH4-reduction product of salvinorin A (2).


As part of our continuing investigations1-6 of the psychotropic Mexican labiate Salvia divinorum (Epling & Jativá-M.), we report the isolation and structure of a new trans-neoclerodane diterpene, salvinorin C (1). Previous studies of the mint led to the isolation of salvinorins (divinorins) A (2) and B (3),2,7 as well as the unambiguous determination of their absolute stereochemistry6 by the use of the exciton chirality circular dichroism method.8 Salvinorin A exhibits activity paralleling that of mescaline, the prototype hallucinogen, in the modified open field bioassay.2,5,9 Research in humans has shown that, although essentially inactive when taken orally, vaporizing and inhaling 200-500 g of salvinorin A induces profound hallucinations.10 Salvinorin A is the first diterpene to be identified as a hallucinogen in humans and is one of the most potent naturally occurring compounds thus far isolated.11 We have discussed the effects of S. divinorum and salvinorin A in animals and humans and warned of their potential to become drugs of abuse.5 During our research on S. divinorum, salvinorin A was first isolated from a single pharmacologically active TLC band using a solvent system of 100/10/1 CHCl3/MeOH/H2O. Differences in potency between the purified diterpene and the original TLC fraction led us to surmise that the latter contained other strongly bioactive compounds that co-chromatographed with salvinorin A during the chromatographic separation. Upon changing the solvent system to 1/1 hexanes/EtOAc, the minor component became separated from salvinorin A. Even though it is estimated that salvinorin C comprises only about 10% of the pharmacologically active TLC fraction, the rest being salvinorin A, the fraction was significantly more potent than an equivalent amount of salvinorin A alone. This seems to indicate that the new diterpene may also have strong psychotropic activity.

Air-dried, pulverized leaves (0.49 kg) of S. divinorum were extracted as before2 with ether, and salvinorins were isolated by repeated flash column chromatography. Final purification of salvinorin C was achieved by HPLC.12 Repeated recrystallization from hexanes/EtOAc provided pure salvinorin C (1)13 (38.5 mg): mp 196-198 C, []22D +49.3 (c 0.61, CHCl3).

 

Salvinorin C (1) has the molecular formula C25H30O9, and its IR spectrum suggests the presence of an ,-unsaturated ester (1715 cm-1), as well as another ester and a -lactone (1755 and 1735 cm-1, respectively). Its complete structure was elucidated by the use of 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. NMR data were compared with those of salvinorin A (2) and the acetate derivatives of the major product obtained by the NaBH4-reduction of salvinorin A. Partial structures deduced by the analysis of NMR data are indicated in connecting thick lines (Figure 1). Although no splitting was visible between H-1 and H-10 in the 1H NMR spectrum of salvinorin C (J1,10 < 0.8 Hz), irradiation of the H-1 peaks sharpened the H-10 singlet. In addition, at the same time the H-3 peaks collapsed into a doublet, confirming the presence of the W-shape coupling between H-1 and H-3 (J = 1.4 Hz). The connectivity between the C-12 and the furan group was established by the detection of the weak coupling between H-12 and H-16 (4J12,16 = 0.8 Hz).

 
Figure 1 Partial structures and their connectivity (bold lines) established by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy.

In an effort to further ascertain the structure of salvinorin C, salvinorin A (2) was reduced with NaBH4 in isopropyl alcohol (35 C, 2.5 h). As we reported earlier,2 the reaction produced a 2.3:1 mixture of cis-diol 4 and its C-8 epimer14 in 87% combined yield. Attempts at directly forming the 1,2-diacetate from diol 4 proved virtually impossible with Ac2O/pyridine, even at elevated temperatures, presumably as a result of the severe steric hindrance of the 1-OH imposed by the two 1,3-diaxially juxtaposed methyl groups. Instead, the formation of 2-monoacetate 62 was observed. Therefore, in analogy to a similar situation encountered in our study on forskolin,15 diol 4 was first treated with trimethyl orthoacetate at 100 C in the presence of a catalytic amount of acetic acid. Immediate acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of the resulting 1,2-cyclic orthoacetate provided 1-monoaceate 516 in 83% yield, consistent with the general observation on the selective formation of the axial monoester of diols obtainable upon acid hydrolysis of their cyclic ortho ester derivatives.17 Acetylation of 5 under standard conditions then afforded the desired 1,2-diacetate 718 in 94% yield.

Comparison of the 13C NMR chemical shifts of salvinorin C (1), monoacetates 5 and 6, and diacetate 7 (Table 1) gave further credence to the proposed structure of salvinorin C. In addition, examination of the 1H NMR spectra of salvinorin C (1) and diacetate 7 was informative in deducing the A-ring stereochemistry of both compounds. A long-range W-type coupling (1.2 Hz) was observed between the two equatorial Hs at C-1 and C-3 in diacetate 7 as in the case of salvinorin C (vide ante).

These salvinorin compounds from S. divinorum closely resemble a large number of neoclerodane diterpenes isolated from Latin American Salvia plants.19 It would be interesting to examine if any of those compounds also exhibit psychotropic activity.

Acknowledgment

This work was supported in part by research grants from the NIH (to M.K.) and the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy (to L.J.V.).

* In papers with more than one author, the asterisk indicates the name of the author to whom inquiries about the paper should be addressed.

University of Michigan Hospital.

Northeast Louisiana University.

Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Michigan.

1. Valdés, L. J., III; Díaz, J. L.; Paul, A. G. J. Ethnopharmacol. 1983, 27, 287-312.

2. Valdés, L. J., III; Butler, W. M.; Hatfield, G. M.; Paul, A. G.; Koreeda, M. J. Org. Chem. 1984, 49, 4716-4720.

3. Valdés, L. J., III. J. Nat. Prod. 1986, 49, 171.

4. Valdés, L. J., III; Hatfield, G. M.; Koreeda, M.; Paul, A. G. Econ. Bot. 1987, 41, 283-291.

5. Valdés, L. J., III. J. Psychoactive Drugs 1994, 26, 277-283.

6. Koreeda, M.; Brown, L.; Valdes, L. J., III. Chem Lett. 1990, 2015-2018.

7. Ortega, A.; Blount, J. F.; Marchand, P. S. J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1 1982, 2505-2508.

8. Harada, N.; Nakanishi, K. Circular Dichroic Spectroscopy-Exciton Coupling in Organic Stereochemistry; University Science Books: Mill Valley, CA, 1983.

9. Valdés, L. J., III. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1983. See also: Brimblecombe, R. W.; Green, A. L. Nature (London) 1962, 45, 983.

10. Siebert, D. J. J. Ethnopharmacol. 1994, 43, 53-56.

11. Schultes, R. E.; Hofmann, A. The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens; Charles, C., Ed.; Thomas Publisher: Springfield, IL, 1980.

12. A 10-m Radial Pak Microporasil silica gel column (10 cm × 8 mm id) eluted with an isocratic solvent mixture of 10% acetonitrile, 30% methyl-tert-butyl ether, and 60% hexanes with a flow rate of 1.5 mL/min.

13. Salvinorin C (1): IR (KBr) 3150, 2950, 2920, 2850, 1755, 1735, 1715, 1635, 1430, 1370, 1310, 1225, 1140, 1070, 1035, 955, 905, 870, 785, 765 cm-1; HRMS (EI) m/z calcd for C25H30O9 474.1890, found 474.1865.

14. Data for the 8-epimer of diol 4: mp 234-235 C (EtOH); []22D +8.8 (c 0.24, MeOH); 1H NMR (400 MHz, acetone-d6) 0.97 (d, 1H, J = 1.1 Hz), 1.33 (s, 3H), 1.43 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.7, 4.5, 3.9 Hz), 1.60 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.7, 13.6, 5.0 Hz), 1.58-1.68 (m, 1H), 1.70 (s, 3H), 1.82 (dd, 1H, J = 12.1, 11.6 Hz), 1.91 (dddd, 1H, J = 13.6, 13.3, 4.7, 3.9 Hz), 2.03 (dddd, 1H, J = 13.3, 5.0, 4.5, 1.9 Hz), 2.14 (dd, 1H, J = 11.6, 1.9 Hz), 2.16 (dd, 1H, J = 9.7, 1.9 Hz), 2.17 (ddd, 1H, J = 12.0, 11.5, 9.7 Hz), 2.60 (dd, 1H, J = 4.7, 1.9 Hz), 2.86 (s, 1H, 1-OH), 2.89 (s, 1H, 2-OH), 3.60 (ddd, 1H, J = 11.5, 4.5, 2.3 Hz), 3.62 (s, 3H), 4.09 (dd, 1H, J = 2.3, 1.1 Hz), 5.49 (ddd, 1H, J = 12.1, 1.9, 1.2 Hz), 6.58 (dd, 1H, J = 1.8, 0.7 Hz), 7.57 (dd, 1H, J = 1.8, 1.7 Hz), 7.66 (ddd, 1H, J = 1.7, 1.2, 0.7 Hz); 13C NMR (75 MHz, acetone-d6) 17.36 (q), 18.91 (t), 26.59 (q), 29.77 (t), 37.43 (s), 37.51 (s), 37.85 (t), 46.85 (d), 49.67 (t), 51.15 (q), 55.38 (d), 55.48 (d), 70.08 (d), 70.21 (d), 71.93 (d), 109.66 (d), 125.90 (s), 140.80 (s), 144.38 (d), 173.75 (s), 174.31 (s). Anal. Calcd for C21H28O7: C, 64.60; H, 7.23. Found: C, 64.14; H, 7.18.

15. Valdes, L. J., III.; Koreeda, M. J. Org. Chem. 1991, 56, 844-846.

16. Data for 5: mp 206-209 C (hexanes/EtOAc); []22D +7.1 (c 0.70, CHCl3); 1H NMR (400 MHz, CDCl3) 1.16 (s, 3H), 1.36 (s, 3H), 1.42 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.9, 13.0, 3.6 Hz), 1.47 (d, 1H, J = 1.7 Hz), 1.60 (dddd, 1H, J = 14.1, 13.9, 12.1, 2.9 Hz), 1.62 (d, 1H, J = 1.7 Hz), 1.72 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.0, 3.5, 2.9 Hz), 1.73 (dddd, 1H, J = 13.0, 4.9, 2.8, 1.0 Hz), 1.90 (dd, 1H, J = 13.2, 11.7 Hz), 2.00 (dddd, 1H, J = 14.1, 3.6, 3.5, 3.2 Hz), 2.07 (s, 3H), 2.11 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.2, 13.0, 12.1 Hz), 2.32 (dd, 1H, J = 13.2, 2.8 Hz), 2.35 (dd, 1H, J = 12.1, 3.2 Hz), 2.48 (dd, 1H, J = 13.2, 5.4 Hz), 3.64 (s, 1H, OH), 3.65 (s, 3H), 3.68 (ddd, 1H, J = 12.1, 4.9, 1.7 Hz), 5.54 (dd, 1H, J = 11.7, 5.4 Hz), 5.60 (ddd, 1H, J = 1.7, 1.7, 1.0 Hz), 6.59 (dd, 1H, J = 1.8, 0.8 Hz), 7.57 (dd, 1H, J = 1.8, 1.5 Hz), 7.68 (ddd, 1H, J = 1.5, 0.8, 0.8 Hz). Anal. Calcd for C23H30O8: C, 63.58; H, 6.96. Found: C, 63.42; H, 7.00.

17. King, J. F.; Allbutt, A. D. Can. J. Chem. 1970, 48, 1754-1769.

18. Data for 7: mp 211-214 C (hexanes/EtOAc); []22D -7.5 (c 0.81, CHCl3); 1H NMR (400 MHz, acetone-d6) 1.16 (s, 3H), 1.38 (s, 3H), 1.50 (dddd, 1H, J = 14.0, 12.8, 12.2, 2.6 Hz), 1.62 (d, 1H, J = 1.7 Hz), 1.63 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.0, 12.8, 3.2 Hz), 1.76 (dddd, 1H, J = 12.9, 4.8, 2.8, 1.2 Hz), 1.78 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.0, 3.2, 3.0 Hz), 1.90 (s, 3H), 1.94 (dd, 1H, J = 13.2, 11.7 Hz), 2.02 (dddd, 1H, J = 14.0, 3.3, 3.2, 3.0 Hz), 2.14 (s, 3H), 2.23 (ddd, 1H, J = 13.2, 12.9, 12.4 Hz), 2.32 (dd, 1H, J = 13.2, 5.5 Hz), 2.40 (dd, 1H, J = 12.2, 3.3 Hz), 2.45 (dd, 1H, J = 13.2, 2.8 Hz), 3.67 (s, 3H), 4.81 (ddd, 1H, J = 12.4, 4.8, 3.4 Hz), 5.56 (dd, 1H, J = 11.7, 5.5 Hz), 5.68 (ddd, 1H, J = 3.4, 1.7, 1.2 Hz), 6.58 (dd, 1H, J = 1.8, 0.8 Hz), 7.56 (dd, 1H, J = 1.8, 1.5 Hz), 7.66 (ddd, 1H, J = 1.5, 0.8, 0.8 Hz). Anal. Calcd for C25H32O9: C, 63.01; H, 6.77. Found: C, 62.87; H, 6.71.

19. Rodriguez-Hahn, L.; Alvarado, G.; Cárdenas, J.; Esquivel, B.; Gaviño, R. Phytochemistry 1994, 35, 447-450 and references therein.

Table 1. NMR Data for 1 and 5-7 in CDCl3 a

 

salvinorin C (1)

 

H

C

1-OAc 5 C

2-OAc 6 C

diacetate 7 C

1

5.76 br d (5.1)

69.40

71.29

71.70

71.78

2

5.55 dd (5.1, 2.4)

64.36

70.10

67.33

67.34

3

6.50 dd (2.4, 1.4)

132.62

28.77

24.90

25.79

4

 

143.02

52.98

54.99

52.82

5b

 

38.25

37.22

37.86

37.54

6

2.60 ddd (12.9, 3.3, 3.2)

37.19

40.74

40.65

40.74

6

1.23 ddd (12.9, 12.8, 3.9)

 

 

 

 

7

1.82 dddd (14.2, 12.8, 12.4, 3.2)

18.53

18.80

18.72

18.74

7

2.09-2.18 m

 

 

 

 

8

2.13 dd (12.4, 3.3)

52.82

51.47

52.55

51.52

9b

 

37.38

37.49

36.95

37.38

10

1.50 br s

51.93

54.87

55.91

54.77

11

2.49 dd (12.9, 5.9)

44.43

44.48

44.39

44.31

11

1.69 dd (12.9, 11.4)

 

 

 

 

12

5.54 dd (11.4, 5.9)

71.92

71.84

74.61

71.78

13

 

125.81

125.85

125.99

125.68

14

6.42 dd (1.9, 1.1)

108.63

108.51

108.44

108.51

15

7.43 dd (1.5, 1.1)

144.19

143.83

143.71

143.78

16

7.45 dd d (1.9, 1.5, 0.8)

139.75

139.55

139.35

139.55

17

 

170.12

171.62

171.55

171.19

18

 

166.14

172.55

172.35

172.17

19

1.23 s

21.86

17.66

16.81

17.66

20

1.73 s

15.79

16.20

17.90

16.14

CO2CH3

3.78 s

51.99

55.15

51.29

54.99

OCOCH3

2.05 s

20.07

21.45

21.11

20.69

 

2.13 s

21.10

 

 

21.24

OCOCH3

 

170.79

171.35

169.51

169.89

 

 

171.68

 

 

170.32

a 400 MHz for 1H and 75 MHz for 13C NMR, J values (Hz) are given in parentheses.b The 13C chemical shift assignments for C-5 and C-9 may be interchanged in each column.