The role of deoxycorticosterone in the biosynthesis of digitoxigenin was investigated by the simultaneous administration of deoxy[1,2−3H2]corticosterone and [4−14C]progesterone to a Digitalis lanata plant. The biosynthetically formed [3H,14C]digitoxigenin and deoxy[3H,14C]corticosterone were isolated and the distribution of the two isotopes in these products was determined. The transformation of progesterone into deoxycorticosterone in vivo was established. The biosynthetic route from progesterone via deoxycorticosterone to cardenolides was found to be of little significance.

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