Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Thesis: How the plant cell synthesizes the pharmaceutical compounds?

05.11.2008
VTT’s Research Scientist Suvi Häkkinen (MSc, Tech) has studied in her thesis alkaloid biosynthesis and metabolism in two Solanaceae plants, tobacco and Egyptian henbane.
The studies bring new information about the functions of genes involved with the biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites. The results can be used in developing production of valuable pharmaceuticals in plant cell cultures.

Plants produce small-molecular-weight compounds, which are used for example to attract pollinators and in various defence-related reactions. These secondary metabolites are often produced in low quantities in plants. Moreover, they are often structurally very complex molecules, and therefore their chemical synthesis is challenging.
Alkaloids, such as morphine and paclitaxel, are secondary compounds which are used as pharmaceuticals. Using cell cultures these often valuable plant-based compounds can be produced in controlled conditions. The thesis of Suvi Häkkinen shows that increased knowledge of regulation of biosynthesis is needed to be able to engineer the production of these compounds in cell cultures.

In this work, a functional genomics-based technology for the discovery of genes involved in plant secondary metabolism was developed. As a result, two novel genes were discovered, which were suggested to be involved in tobacco alkaloid biosynthesis. In addition, a novel alkaloid in tobacco cell cultures was isolated and it was shown to exist in two isomeric forms.
When a gene involved in the alkaloid metabolism in Egyptian henbane was overexpressed in tobacco hairy roots, it was shown that added hyoscyamine was efficiently converted into pharmaceutically more valuable scopolamine. In addition, a majority of the produced scopolamine was secreted out of the cells, which facilitates the product recovery. The transportation of secondary metabolites was also studied by overexpressing a yeast transporter gene in tobacco cell cultures, and it was suggested that PDR5-type transporters can be used to stimulate the secretion of secondary metabolites in plant cells.

Suvi Häkkinen will defend her thesis ”A functional genomics approach to the study of alkaloid biosynthesis and metabolism in Nicotiana tabacum and Hyoscyamus muticus cell cultures” at the Helsinki University of Technology (address: Kemistintie 1, Espoo, Finland) on 7 November 2008.

Further information:

VTT
Suvi Häkkinen
Research Scientist
tel. +358 20 722 4456
suvi.hakkinen@vtt.fi
Further information on VTT:
Senior Vice President
Olli Ernvall
Tel. +358 20 722 6747
olli.ernvall@vtt.fi
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is the biggest contract research organization in Northern Europe. VTT provides high-end technology solutions and innovation services. From its wide knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, create new innovations and a substantial range of world-class technologies and applied research services, thus improving its clients' competitiveness and competence. Through its international scientific and technology network, VTT can produce information, upgrade technology knowledge and create business intelligence and value added to its stakeholders.

Suvi Häkkinen | VTT
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi/?lang=en
http://www.vtt.fi/vtt_show_record.jsp?target=julk&form=sdefe&search=59583

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines
20.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees
20.11.2018 | Universität Leipzig

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

Max Planck researchers revel the nano-structure of molecular trains and the reason for smooth transport in cellular antennas.

Moving around, sensing the extracellular environment, and signaling to other cells are important for a cell to function properly. Responsible for those tasks...

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nonstop Tranport of Cargo in Nanomachines

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Researchers find social cultures in chimpanzees

20.11.2018 | Life Sciences

When AI and optoelectronics meet: Researchers take control of light properties

20.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>