Isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis - Reference pathway
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Isoquinoline alkaloids are tyrosine-derived plant alkaloids with an isoquinoline skeleton. Among them benzylisoquinoline alkaloids form an important group with potent pharmacological activity, including analgesic compounds of morphine and codeine, and anti-infective agents of berberine, palmatine, and magnoflorine. Biosynthesis of isoquinoline alkaloids proceeds via decarboxylation of tyrosine or DOPA to yield dopamine, which together with 4-hydroxyphenylacetaldehyde, an aldehyde derived from tyrosine, is converted to reticuline, an important precursor of various benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.