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Nat Biotechnol. 1996 Sep;14(9):1129-32.

Methyl jasmonate-induced overproduction of paclitaxel and baccatin III in Taxus cell suspension cultures.

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Bioscience Laboratory, Mitsui Petrochemical Industries, Ltd., Yamaguchi, Japan.


Taxus cell culture may be an alternative source of paclitaxel and related taxane production. Significantly increased amounts of paclitaxel and baccatin III were observed in cultured cells of Taxus species after exposure to methyl jasmonate. Among the three species of Taxus tested, Taxus media showed the highest paclitaxel content while Taxus baccata showed the highest baccatin III content when 100 microM of methyl jasmonate was added to the culture media. Furthermore, the activities of methyl jasmonate and related substances for inducing paclitaxel production were compared in cell suspension cultures of T. media. Methyl jasmonate and its free acid showed the strongest promoting activity. Reduction of the keto group at the C-3 position greatly reduced this activity. cis-Jasmone, which does not have a carboxyl group at the C-1 position, had almost no activity. These results suggest that these two regions of methyl jasmonate are important for promoting the production of paclitaxel and related taxanes in Taxus cell cultures.

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