Document Detail

Endogenous formation of morphine in human cells.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15383669     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Morphine is a plant (opium poppy)-derived alkaloid and one of the strongest known analgesic compounds. Studies from several laboratories have suggested that animal and human tissue or fluids contain trace amounts of morphine. Its origin in mammals has been believed to be of dietary origin. Here, we address the question of whether morphine is of endogenous origin or derived from exogenous sources. Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids present in human neuroblastoma cells (SH-SY5Y) and human pancreas carcinoma cells (DAN-G) were identified by GC/tandem MS (MS/MS) as norlaudanosoline (DAN-G), reticuline (DAN-G and SH-SY5Y), and morphine (10 nM, SH-SY5Y). The stereochemistry of reticuline was determined to be 1-(S). Growth of the SH-SY5Y cell line in the presence of (18)O(2) led to the [(18)O]-labeled morphine that had the molecular weight 4 mass units higher than if grown in (16)O(2), indicating the presence of two atoms of (18)O per molecule of morphine. Growth of DAN-G cells in an (18)O(2) atmosphere yielded norlaudanosoline and (S)-reticuline, both labeled at only two of the four oxygen atoms. This result clearly demonstrates that all three alkaloids are of biosynthetic origin and suggests that norlaudanosoline and (S)-reticuline are endogenous precursors of morphine. Feeding of [ring-(13)C(6)]-tyramine, [1-(13)C, N-(13)CH(3)]-(S)-reticuline and [N-CD(3)]-thebaine to the neuroblastoma cells led each to the position-specific labeling of morphine, as established by GC/MS/MS. Without doubt, human cells can produce the alkaloid morphine. The studies presented here serve as a platform for the exploration of the function of "endogenous morphine" in the neurosciences and immunosciences.
Chotima Poeaknapo; Jürgen Schmidt; Matthias Brandsch; Birgit Dräger; Meinhart H Zenk
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2004-09-21
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  101     ISSN:  0027-8424     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2004 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-09-29     Completed Date:  2005-02-07     Revised Date:  2013-04-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  14091-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Biocenter, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Weinbergweg 22, 06120 Halle, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Alkaloids / chemistry,  isolation & purification,  metabolism
Benzylisoquinolines / chemistry,  isolation & purification,  metabolism
Cell Line
Mass Spectrometry / methods
Morphine / chemistry,  isolation & purification,  metabolism*
Oxygen Isotopes
Tetrahydropapaveroline / chemistry,  isolation & purification,  metabolism
Thebaine / analogs & derivatives,  isolation & purification,  metabolism
Tyrosine / metabolism
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Alkaloids; 0/Benzylisoquinolines; 0/Oxygen Isotopes; 115-37-7/Thebaine; 4747-99-3/Tetrahydropapaveroline; 55520-40-6/Tyrosine; 57-27-2/Morphine; X35Z551WT4/reticuline

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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