Clinical data
ATC code none
CAS Number 474657-72-2 YesY
PubChem (CID) 637026
ChemSpider 552693 N
Chemical and physical data
Formula C16H21BrN2
Molar mass 321.254 g/mol
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Desformylflustrabromine (dFBr) is a tryptamine derivative which was first isolated as an active metabolite of the marine bryozoan Flustra foliacea.[1]


dFBr has been identified as a novel positive allosteric modulator of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor with sub-type specificity for heteromeric receptor with no effect on homomeric sub-type.[2] A recent study has been published which describes the synthesis of water-soluble salts of dFBr and its action has been confirmed as selective potentiator of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor responses by using two-electrode voltage clamp whole cell recordings.[3] In the year 2002 it was reported that dFBr was cytotoxic on human colon cancer cell line HCT-116.[4] Desformylflustrabromine has also been found to be a positive allosteric modulator for the α2β2 subtype of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Additionally it relieves the inhibition of both α2β2 and α4β2 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors by β-Amyloid (1–42) Peptide.[5] Thus Desformylflustrabromine can potentially be used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Many of the deconstructed analogs of dFBr are reported to have a potentiating effect on the α4β2 receptors.[6]


  1. Peters, Lars; Wright, Anthony D.; Kehraus, Stefan; Gündisch, Daniela; Tilotta, M. C.; König, Gabriele M. (October 2004). "Prenylated indole alkaloids from Flustra foliacea with subtype specific binding on NAChRs". Planta Med. 70 (10): 883–6. doi:10.1055/s-2004-832610. PMID 15490312.
  2. Sala, Francisco; Mulet, José; Reddy, Krishna P.; Bernal, José Antonio; Wikman, Philip; Valor, Luis Miguel; Peters, Lars; König, Gabriele M.; Criado, Manuel (January 2005). "Potentiation of human alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic receptors by a Flustra foliacea metabolite". Neurosci. Lett. 373 (2): 144–9. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2004.10.002. PMID 15567570.
  3. Kim, Jin-Sung; Padnya, Anshul; Weltzin, Maegan; Edmonds, Brian W.; Schulte, Marvin K.; Glennon, Richard A. (Sep 2007). "Synthesis of desformylflustrabromine and its evaluation as an alpha4beta2 and alpha7 nACh receptor modulator". Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 17 (17): 4855–60. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2007.06.047. PMC 3633077Freely accessible. PMID 17604168.
  4. Lysek, N; Rachor, E; Lindel, T (2002). "Isolation and structure elucidation of deformylflustrabromine from the North Sea bryozoan Flustra foliacea". Z. Naturforsch. C. 57 (11–12): 1056–61. PMID 12562094.
  5. Pandya, Anshul; Yakel, Jerrel L. (September 2011). "Allosteric modulator Desformylflustrabromine relieves the inhibition of α2β2 and α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by β-amyloid(1-42) peptide". J. Mol. Neurosci. 45 (1): 42–7. doi:10.1007/s12031-011-9509-3. PMC 3235685Freely accessible. PMID 21424792.
  6. German, Nadezhda; Kim, Jin-Sung; Jain, Atul; Dukat, Malgorzata; Pandya, Anshul; Ma, Yilong; Weltzin, Maegan; Schulte, Marvin K.; Glennon, Richard A. (October 2011). "Deconstruction of the α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor positive allosteric modulator desformylflustrabromine". J. Med. Chem. 54 (20): 7259–67. doi:10.1021/jm200834x. PMC 3200116Freely accessible. PMID 21905680.

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