Transvaalin, a cardiac glycoside isolated from Urginea burkei, Bkr. (Transvaal Slangkop)

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(1) A cardiac glycoside, transvaalin, with molecular formula C₃₆H₅₂O₁₃, was isolated from Urginea burkei Bkr. (2) Transvaalin has the typical raticidal properties of scilliroside when dosed per os or injected intraperitoneally. The m.l.d. for rats, dosed per os, was 40 mg./Kg. (3) Hydrolysis of transvaalin yielded scillaridin A, C₂₄H₃₀O₃, and scillabiose from which it appears that transvaalin must either be isomeric with scillaren A or a very stable complex of scillaren A and a rat-poison e.g. scilliroside. (4) Fractionation of transvaalin with chloroform-butanol yielded no scilliroside or other rat-poison, while the activity of transvaalin remained unchanged towards rats and frogs, contradicting the possibility that it is a complex of scillaren A and a rat-poison. (5) The isolation (in small yield) of an amorphous water-soluble poisonous principle from U. burkei. is reported.