Polyazamacrolides from ladybird beetles: Ring-size selective oligomerization


The National Academy of Sciences


The pupal defensive secretion of the 24-pointed ladybird beetle, Subcoccinella vigintiquatuorpunctata, consists of a mixture of macrocyclic polyamines, dominated by the three dimeric, 30-membered macrocycles 11-13, derived from the two building blocks 11-(2-hydoxyethylamino)-5-tetradecenoic acid (9) and 11-(2-hydoxyethylamino)-5,8-tetradecadienoic acid (10). Smaller amounts of the four possible cyclic trimers of 9 and 10 were also detected, corresponding to 45-membered macrocycles. Structural assignments were based on NMR-spectroscopic investigations and HPLC–MS analyses. In addition, the all-S absolute configuration of the S. vigintiquatuorpunctata macrocycles was determined by comparison of derivatives of the natural material with enantiomerically pure synthetic samples. Comparing this alkaloid mixture with that of the pupal defensive secretion in related ladybird beetle species indicates that the degree of oligomerization of the 2-hydroxyethylamino carboxylic acid building blocks can be carefully controlled by the insects.

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