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Phytochemistry. 2001 Sep;58(1):1-7.

Taxol biosynthetic genes.

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  • 1Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6340, USA.


The function and properties of heterologously expressed full-length cDNA clones, isolated from a Taxus cDNA library and specific to Taxol biosynthesis, are summarized. Recombinant enzymes are described that catalyze early steps of the pathway, including taxadiene synthase, taxadien-5alpha-ol-O-acetyltransferase and taxadien-5alpha-yl acetate 10beta-hydroxylase, and that catalyze late steps, including 10-deacetylbaccatin III-10beta-O-acetyltransferase and taxane 2alpha-O-benzoyltransferase. The properties of Taxus geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase are also described; although this synthase does not mediate a committed step of Taxol biosynthesis, it does provide the universal plastidial diterpenoid precursor, geranylgeranyl diphosphate, for initiating Taxol biosynthesis.

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