Letter | Published:

A Postulated Biosynthesis of Some ‘Anomalous’ Natural Phenolic Compounds

Naturevolume 199pages592593 (1963) | Download Citation



CONSIDERABLE experimental evidence has been provided in recent years to substantiate Birch's biogenetic proposals1 for the polyacetate derivation of a number of classes of naturally occurring phenolic compounds. However, certain phenolic substances are known which, although ‘acetate-derived’, cannot be formulated directly via a linear polyketide chain. Included in this ‘anomalous’ category are sulochrin (4), citromycetin (1), fulvic acid (3), and pinselic acid (2). To rationalize the structures of these compounds, Birch1 and Thomas2 have each postulated a branched polyketide precursor.

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  1. 1

    Birch, A. J., Fortschr. Chem. Org. Naturstoffe, 14, 186 (1957); Proc. Chem. Soc., 3 (1962).

  2. 2

    Thomas, R., Biochem. J., 78, 748 (1961).

  3. 3

    Gatenbeck, S., Svensk Kem. Tidskr., 72, 188 (1960).

  4. 4

    Stickings, C. E., and Mahmoodian, A., Chem. and Indust., 1718 (1962).

  5. 5

    cf. Whalley, W. B., in Recent Developments in the Chemistry of Natural Phenolic Compounds, edit. by Ollis, W. D., 49 (Pergamon Press, 1961).

  6. 6

    Loudon, J. D., in Progress in Organic Chemistry, 5, 60 (Butterworths, 1961); cf. Davies, A. C., Organic Peroxides, 143 (Butterworths, 1961).

  7. 7

    Bedford, C. T., and Money, T. (unpublished results).

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  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Glasgow

    • T. MONEY


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