Vobtusine is a dimeric indole alkaloid derived from the various species of Voacanga, indigenous to Africa, first reported in 1955. In the Pacific region, vobtusine was successfully isolated from the tree, Voacanga papuana, indigenous to New Guinea by Ritchie and Taylor, University of Sydney, Australia in 1965. The structure of vobtusine was elucidated by researchers at Univeristy of Zurich and Geigy (now Novartis) in 1966. Apart from the initial report of the in vivo sympathetic nervous system effects of the extract containing voacangine, voacamine and vobtusine, there are no reports of its specific biological activity.
Several deoxy analogues of vobtusin are cholinesterase inhibitors and are active against Mycobacterium tuberculosis
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Macabeo AP et al (2011) Mycobacterium tuberculosis and cholinesterase inhibitors from Voacanga globosa. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 46:3118