Journal Article

Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid Synthase, the Enzyme Controlling Marijuana Psychoactivity, is Secreted into the Storage Cavity of the Glandular Trichomes

Supaart Sirikantaramas, Futoshi Taura, Yumi Tanaka, Yu Ishikawa, Satoshi Morimoto and Yukihiro Shoyama

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 46, issue 9, pages 1578-1582
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pci166
Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid Synthase, the Enzyme Controlling Marijuana Psychoactivity, is Secreted into the Storage Cavity of the Glandular Trichomes

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Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) synthase is the enzyme responsible for the production of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of marijuana (Cannabis sativa L.). We suggest herein that THCA is biosynthesized in the storage cavity of the glandular trichomes based on the following observations. (i) The exclusive expression of THCA synthase was confirmed in the secretory cells of glandular trichomes by reverse transcription–PCR (RT–PCR) analysis. (ii) THCA synthase activity was detected in the storage cavity content. (iii) Transgenic tobacco expressing THCA synthase fused to green fluorescent protein showed fluorescence in the trichome head corresponding to the storage cavity. These results also showed that secretory cells of the glandular trichomes secrete not only metabolites but also biosynthetic enzyme.

Keywords: Biosynthesis; Glandular trichome; Localization; Marijuana; Tetrahydrocannabinol; Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase; CBGA, cannabigerolic acid; GFP, green fluorescent protein; THC, tetrahydrocannabinol; THCA, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid; THCAS, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase gene

Journal Article.  3341 words.  Illustrated.

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

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