Journal Article

Biosynthesis of Sterols and Triterpenes in Cell Suspension Cultures of <i>Uncaria tomentosa</i>

Isvett J. Flores-Sánchez, Jaime Ortega-López, María del Carmen Montes-Horcasitas and Ana C. Ramos-Valdivia

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 43, issue 12, pages 1502-1509
Published in print December 2002 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online December 2002 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcf181
Biosynthesis of Sterols and Triterpenes in Cell Suspension Cultures of Uncaria tomentosa

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Pectin administered to Uncaria tomentosa cell suspension cultures, was found to increase the production of triterpene acids (ursolic and oleanolic acid), however, neither growth nor sterol accumulation were affected. Cell cultures showed that pectin treatment caused a rapid threefold increase in the activities of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of C5 and C30 isoprenoid, such as isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase and squalene synthase. The activity of a farnesyl diphosphatase, which could divert the flux of farnesyl diphosphate to farnesol, was two times lower in elicited than in control cells. Elicited cells also transformed more rapidly a higher percentage of [5-3H]mevalonic acid into triterpene acids. Interestingly, addition of terbinafine, an inhibitor of squalene epoxidase, to elicited cell cultures inhibited sterol accumulation while triterpene production was not inhibited. These results suggest that in U. tomentosa cells, both the previously mentioned enzymes and those involved in squalene 2,3-oxide formation play an important regulatory role in the biosynthesis of sterols and triterpenes.

Keywords: Keywords: Farnesol — Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase — Squalene synthase — Sterols — Triterpenes — Uncaria tomentosa.; Abbreviations: DMAPP, dimethylally diphosphate; FPP, farnesyl diphosphate; HMGCoA reductase, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA reductase; IPP-isomerase, isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase; KF, potassium fluoride; NNm, Nitsch–Nitsch modified medium; SQS, squalene synthase.

Journal Article.  5231 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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