chembox new
Section1=Chembox Identifiers

Section2=Chembox Properties
MolarMass=253.4665 g/mol

Section8 = Chembox Related
OtherCpds = Solenopsin B
methylated piperidines

Section7=Chembox Hazards

Solenopsin (C17H35N) is an alkaloid which inhibits angiogenesis via the phosphoinositol-3 kinase (PI3-K) signaling pathway,cite journal | author = Arbiser JL, Kau T, Konar M, Narra K, Ramchandran R, Summers SA, Vlahos CJ, Ye K, Perry BN, Matter W, Fischl A, Cook J, Silver PA, Bain J, Cohen P, Whitmire D, Furness S, Govindarajan B, Bowen JP. | title = Solenopsin, the alkaloidal component of the fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), is a naturally occurring inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signaling and angiogenesis | journal = Blood | year = 2007 | volume = 109 | issue = 2 | pages = 560–5 | doi = 10.1182/blood-2006-06-029934 | pmid = 16990598] in addition to contributing to the known and often despised toxic effect of fire ant venom. Solenopsin has also been shown to have cytotoxic, hemolytic, necrotic, insecticidal, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-HIV properties. [cite journal | author = Howell G, Butler J, Deshazo RD, Farley JM, Liu HL, Nanayakkara NP, Yates A, Yi GB, Rockhold RW. | title = Cardiodepressant and neurologic actions of Solenopsis invicta (imported fire ant) venom alkaloids | journal = Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol | year = 2005 | volume = 94 | issue = 3 | pages = 380–6 | pmid = 15801250] Originally synthesized in 1998, several groups have designed novel and creative methods of synthesizing enantiopure solenopsin and other alkaloidal components of ant venom. Though the use of ant venom in a remedial sense has often been marginalized to homeopathic therapies, basic science research is just beginning to uncover the therapeutic value of these alkaloids in human pathologies.


The total synthesis of solenopsin has been described by several methods. [cite journal | author = Leclercq, S.; Daloze, D.; Braekman, J.-C. | journal = Org. Prep. Proced. Int. | year = 1996 | volume = 28 | pages = 499 | title = A Synthesis of the Fire Ant Alkaloids, Solenipsins | url =] The method proposed by Bowen "et al."(Figure 1) starts with alkylation of 4-chloropyridine hydrochloride with a 1-bromoundecane pre-formed Grignard reagent, followed by amidation of the pyridinal nitrogen with phenyl chloroformate, to form 4-Chloro-1-(phenoxycarbonyl)-2-n-undecyl-1,2-dihydropyridine. Phenol is the displaced by t-butoxide, and the pyridine is then methylated at the 6 position. The pyridine ring is then reduced to a 1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridine via catalytic hydrogenation over palladium. Boc is finally removed to yield (+)-Solenopsin A as trans-2-methyl-6-n-undecylpiperidine. The hydrochloride salt is then formed with addition of HCl and concentration of the solution yields pure Solenopsin A HCl as a white solid. A number of analogs have been synthesized using modifications of this procedure, but Solenopsin A has been shown to have the most potent anti-angiogenic effects.

Figure 1

"Summarized schematic of the total solenopsin synthesis"

Biological activity

"In vitro" studies in embryonic zebrafish in the lab of Jack L. Arbiser at Emory University first revealed solenopsin's anti-angiogenic effects. Further studies have shown that solenopsin inhibits the survival protein Akt in an ATP-competitive manner, without affecting upstream activators PI3-K dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1) or PI3-K itself. While the direct protein target of solenopsin has not yet been identified, current research suggests a target upstream of PI3-K.In addition to these anti-angiogenic effects, solenopsin potently inhibits the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in a manner that appears to be non-competitive with L-arginine. "The nNOS inhibition by solenopsin compares favorably with the inhibitory potency of widely used nNOS inhibitors." [cite journal | author = Yi GB, McClendon D, Desaiah D, Goddard J, Lister A, Moffitt J, Meer RK, deShazo R, Lee KS, Rockhold RW. | title = Fire ant venom alkaloid, isosolenopsin A, a potent and selective inhibitor of neuronal nitric oxide synthase | journal = Int J Toxicol | year = 2003 | volume = 22 | issue = 2 | pages = 81–6 | doi = 10.1080/10915810305090]


Reference 3 contains a misspelling. Correct should be:^ Leclercq, S.; Daloze, D.; Braekman, J.-C. (1996). "A Synthesis of the Fire Ant Alkaloids, Solenopsins". Org. Prep. Proced. Int. 28: 499.

Further reading


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