Tetrahedron Letters No.42, pp. 4437-4440, 1968.
Jan Lundstrom and Stig Agurell
The hallucinogenic alkaloid mescaline (I) occurs together with a number of closely related phenylethylamines and tetrahydroisoquinolines such as anhalamine (II R=H) in the peyote cactus, Lophophora williamsii (Lem.) Coult. The purpose of a part of our investigations on cactus alkaloids is to determine the biosynthetic sequences leading from tyrosine to mescaline and to the tetrahydroisoquinolines. Previously some information concerning these pathways was obtained by us (1), Leete (2), Battersby et al. (3) and McLaughlin et al. (4).
In order to gain further information, we have now tested a number of phenylethylamines substituted with none to three hydroxy- or methoxygroups as precursors of mescaline (I) and anhalamine (II R=H).
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Biosynthesis of Mescaline and Anhalamine in Peyote
Phenylethylamine is at best a poor precursor of mescaline and anhalamine