Researchers Synthesize 6-Methylated Congeners of Psilocybin

These new compounds will give scientists a better understanding of how serotonin-based psychedelics work.

May 2019

Researchers used naturally-occurring enzymes to synthesize the compounds 6-methylpsilocbyin, 6-methylbaeocystin, and 6-methylnorbaeocystin. The route of biosynthesis of the 6-methylated congeners uses some of the same enzymes that Psilocybe mushrooms (aka “magic mushrooms”) use to convert tryptophan to psilocybin such as PsiD, PsiK, and PsiM. The synthesis route starts from a compound called 4-hydroxy-6-methyl-L-tryptophan which, as the name says, is already methylated at the 6th carbon. This compound is decarboxylated and phosphorylated using the enzymes PsiD and PsiK from Psilocybe cubensis. Then, the PsiM enzyme is used for methylating the amine group.