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Pure Appl. Chem., 2010, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 213-218

Published online 2010-01-03

Biosynthetic system of camptothecin: An anticancer plant product

Mami Yamazaki1,2, Takashi Asano1,2, Yasuyo Yamazaki2, Supaart Sirikantaramas2, Hiroshi Sudo2 and Kazuki Saito2,3*

1 CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Saitama 332-0012, Japan
2 Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
3 RIKEN Plant Science Center, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan

Abstract: Camptothecin is one of the clinically used anticancer compounds derived from plants. We have established a hairy root culture Ophiorrhiza pumila, which efficiently produces camptothecin. The strictosidine synthase cDNA was obtained from O. pumila, and its properties were characterized using recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli. The mechanisms of camptothecin transport and self-resistance of producing plant cells have also been investigated. These studies offer a basis for pathway engineering of camptothecin in the future.