Biotechnological Approaches for Production of Anti-Cancerous Compounds Resveratrol, Podophyllotoxin and Zerumbone

Current Medicinal Chemistry
Krishnadas NandagopalSumita Jha


Secondary metabolites from numerous plant sources have been developed as anti- cancer reagents and compounds such as resveratrol, podophyllotoxin and zerumbone are of particular importance in this regard. Since their de novo chemical synthesis is both arduous and commercially expensive, there has been an impetus to develop viable, biotechnological methods of production. Accordingly, this review focuses on the recent developments in the field, highlighting the use of micropropagation, cell suspension cultures, callus cultures, hairy root cultures, recombinant microbes and genetically modified higher plants. Optimization of media and culture conditions, precursor feeding, immobilization and the use of chemical or physical elicitation in various protocols has led to an increase in resveratrol and podophyllotoxin production. Heterologous gene transformation of higher plants with stilbene synthase derived from Arachis hypogaea or Vitis vinifera lead to resveratrol production with the concomitant increase in resistance to plant pathogens. Interestingly, genetic transformation of Podophyllum hexandrum and Linum flavum with Agrobacterium rhizogenes resulted in Ri-T-DNA gene(s)-mediated enhancement of podophyllotoxin production. Zerumbo...Continue Reading


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