Exploiting tobacco as a green factory to produce anticancer drugs

Terpene indole alkaloids (TIAs) are important plant-produced secondary metabolites for humans, because of their anti-cancer properties. The production of TIAs still fully relies on extraction from medicinal plants like Catharanthus roseus, which only contains extreme low amounts of these compounds and new ways need to be found to efficiently produce these anticancer drugs at low cost.

Promovendus Lemeng Dong
Promotor GH (Richard) Immink
Copromotor AR (Sander) van der Krol
Organisatie Wageningen University, Laboratory of Plant Physiology

vr 7 maart 2014 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen
Since mitochondrial geranyl diphosphate (GPP), but not cytosolic GPP, boosts geraniol production in the plastids, direct exchange of GPP from mitochondria to plastids must exist.
Lemeng Dong

The common precursor for TIAs is strictosidine and in my PhD project I tried to produce strictosidine in fast-growing tobacco by transferring the genes of the whole biosynthesis pathway into tobacco. At the onset of my project 6 out of the presumed 12 genes of the pathway in C. roseus had not been discovered yet. My thesis tells the story of discovery and characterization of the missing genes and reconstruction of the full strictosidine pathway in tobacco.