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Transgenic Res. 2013 Oct;22(5):905-11. doi: 10.1007/s11248-013-9699-2. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Bioproduction of prostaglandins in a transgenic liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha.

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  • 1Research Institute for Bioresources and Biotechnology, Ishikawa Prefectural University, 1-308 Suematsu, Nonoichi, Ishikawa, 921-8836, Japan,


Prostaglandins are biologically active substances used in a wide range of medical treatments. Prostaglandins have been supplied mainly by chemical synthesis; nevertheless, the high cost of prostaglandin production remains a factor. To lower the cost of prostaglandin production, we attempted to produce prostaglandins using a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha L., which accumulates arachidonic acid, which is known as a substrate of prostaglandins. Here we report the first bioproduction of prostaglandins in plant species by introducing a cyclooxygenase gene from a red alga, Gracilaria vermiculophylla into the liverwort. The transgenic liverworts accumulated prostaglandin F2α, prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin D2 which were not detected in the wild-type liverwort. Moreover, we succeeded in drastically increasing the bioproduction of prostaglandins using an in vitro reaction system with the extracts of transgenic liverworts.

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