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Plant Cell Rep. 1988 Dec;7(7):508-11. doi: 10.1007/BF00272743.

Examination of triterpenoids produced by callus and cell suspension cultures of Glycyrrhiza glabra.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, 606, Kyoto, Japan.


Callus and cell suspension cultures of Glycyrrhiza glabra failed to produce detectable amounts of glycyrrhizin, the major oleanane-type triterpene glycoside of the thickening root, or of its 11 -deoxoderivative. However, betulinic acid, a lupane-type triterpene, which was found in the root bark, and a small amount of β-amyrin, a possible precursor of oleanane-type triterpenes, were detected in cell suspension cultures in addition to lupeol, a fundamental form of lupane-type triterpenes. These findings suggest that the absence of glycyrrhizin in undifferentiated cultured cells may be partly due to interruption of the later reactions leading to the synthesis of glycyrrhizin from a triterpenoid intermediate.


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