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Nomenclature of the Steroidal Sapogenins

Naturevolume 166pages104105 (1950) | Download Citation



IN a recent communication, Klyne1 made the very timely suggestion that the present trivial nomenclature of cardiac aglucones, toad poisons and steroidal sapogenins be put on a more rational basis. It seems desirable to discuss thoroughly the various proposals which, prompted by Klyne's paper, it is hoped will now be forthcoming, before adopting a definite system. We feel that the fundamental assumption of Klyne's proposals—the introduction of a few new basic terms with elimination of the tremendous number of trivial ones—is eminently sound. However, his suggestions in regard to steroidal sapogenin nomenclature appear to us to suffer from a number of defects, and we should like to submit for general consideration a system of sapogenin nomenclature which has been discussed privately in this laboratory for some time. We believe it necessary to divide the steroidal sapogenin nomenclature into three parts on the basis of the functional side-chain at carbon atoms 16 and 17.

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  1. 1

    Klyne, W., Nature, 165, 313 (1950).

  2. 2

    Fieser, L. F., and Fieser, M., “Natural Products Related to Phenanthrene” (3rd edit. New York: Reinhold, 1949); steroid nomenclature: pp. vi–viii; sapogenins: pp. 578–96.

  3. 3

    Based on the bilianic acid nomenclature of Sobotka, H., “Chemistry of the Sterids”, 164 (Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins Co., 1937).

  4. 4

    Kaufmann, St., and Rosenkranz, G., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 70, 3502 (1948).

  5. 5

    Marker, R. E., et al., J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 64, 1655 (1942); 69, 2218 (1947).

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  1. Research Laboratories, Syntex, S.A., Laguna Mayran 413, Mexico City, D.F.



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