In my early undergraduate days I studied tropane alkaloids for some time. These amazing compounds are very important in modern day pharmacy. Their history with mankind is also ancient and eventful. I stopped studying them as my final year was getting closer. So I decided to organize stuffs and publish them online.
Tropane is a bicyclic amine, characterized by a two-ringed structure with a pyrrolidine and a piperidine ring sharing a single nitrogen atom and two carbon atoms. Thus, the common structural element of the tropane alkaloids is the bicyclic azabicyclo-octane skeleton (Lounasmaa and Tamminen, 1993).
Fig: Tropane structure (all equivalent)
Tropane alkaloids have been found in different plant families, Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), Convolvulaceae, Erythroxylaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Olacaceae, Proteaceae, and Rhizophoraceae, but they are best known for their occurrence in the family Solanaceae (Griffin and Lin, 2000). The family Solanaceae comprises about 100 genera and 3000 species. Particularly the genera Datura, Brugmansia, Hyoscyamus, Atropa, Scopolia, Anisodus, Przewalskia, Atropanthe, Physochlaina, Mandragora, Anthotroche, Cyphantera, and Duboisia are known as being rich in tropane alkaloids (Griffin and Lin, 2000).