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Abstract Detail

Colloquia: Moss: from deep phylogeny and model organisms.

Anterola, Aldwin [1].

Using Physcomitrella patens to produce the anticancer drug Taxol.

Taxol is a chemotherapeutic drug isolated from the bark of Pacific yew. The yew bark is not an abundant source of Taxol so this drug is currently manufactured from more readily available taxane precursors found in yew leaves. However, yew leaves do not provide a steady and reliable supply of Taxol precursors due to variations in their taxane content and composition, which ultimately leads to higher cost of the drug. To address this problem, our goal is to develop a more sustainable and renewable source of Taxol. The approach is to use Physcomitrella patens as a biotechnological host to express the genes involved in Taxol biosynthesis. When taxadiene synthase (the first gene in the Taxol pathway) was heterologously expressed in P. patens using a constitutive promoter, taxadiene was formed without detrimental effects on the moss. This result is encouraging because similar experiments performed on arabidopsis and tomato led to stunted growth and developmental delays in transgenic plants. In the next step, coexpression of taxadiene 5-hydroxylase (the second gene in the pathway) with taxadiene synthase in P. patens resulted in the conversion of taxadiene into oxygenated taxadiene derivatives, with no deleterious phenotypic consequences observed. This suggested that P. patens can effectively couple two consecutive enzymes in the Taxol pathway, and can therefore be a promising alternative host in the biotechnological production of Taxol and other taxanes.

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1 - Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Department of Plant Biology, 1125 Lincoln Drive, Life Science II, Room 420, Carbondale, IL, 62901-6509, United States

Metabolic engineering
Physcomitrella patens

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: C1
Location: Ballroom D/Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 2nd, 2010
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: C1007
Abstract ID:659

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