Quinolizidine alkaloids, a main existence form of alkaloid found in the genus Sophora, have been shown to have many pharmacological effects. This review aims to summarize the photochemical reports and biological activities of quinolizidine alkaloids in Sophora. The collected information suggested that a total of 99 quinolizidine alkaloids were isolated and detected from different parts of Sophora plants, represented by lupinine-type, cytisine-type, sparteine-type, matrine-type. However, quality control needs to be monitored because it could provide basic information for the reasonable and efficient use of quinolizidine alkaloids as medicines and raw materials. The nonmedicinal parts may be promising to be used as a source of quinolizidine alkaloid raw materials and to reduce the waste of resources and environmental pollution. In addition, the diversity of chemical compounds based on the alkaloid scaffold to make a biological compound library needs to be extended, which may reduce toxicity and find new bioactivities of quinolizidine alkaloids. The bioactivities most reported on are in the fields of antitumor activity and the effects on the cardiovascular system. However, those studies rest on theoretical research, and novel drugs based on quinolizidine alkaloids are expected.
Keywords: quinolizidine alkaloids, Sophora, biological activities, phytochemicals, pharmacological, resources
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