416
Antitumor Agents: Taxol and Taxanes – Production by Yew Cell Culture
8
Future Perspectives
435
Bibliography
437
Books and Reviews
437
Primary Literature
437
Keywords
Callus
A mass of disorganized plant tissue, generally with low degree of cell differentiation,
usually cultured on solid media.
Cell Suspension
Cells derived from callus or explant tissue and cultivated in liquid media, usually
proliferating cell aggregates or single cells.
Explant
The portion of the intact plant used to initiate callus cultures.
Taxane
A compound related to taxol that can be described as a diterpene composed of three
pentadecene rings.
Taxol
(general name Paclitaxel)
A diterpene amide with antineoplastic properties.
Taxus
A genus of gymnosperm trees belonging to the family Taxaceae and commonly known
as yew.
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Taxol
is an anticancer drug increasingly used for the approved treatment of various
cancer types, including ovarian, breast, lung, head and neck, bladder and cervix,
melanomas, and AIDS-related Karposi’s sarcoma. The supply of this compound is
limited because of expanding demand and the fact that the only commercial source is
the biomass of
Taxus
species. Yew trees grow relatively slowly, contain low and vari-
able amounts of Taxol
, and in many cases are located in protected, environmentally
sensitive areas. The bulk of current Taxol
production derives from semisynthesis
starting from 10-deacetyl baccatin III, a precursor obtained from yew needles. Cell
culture of yew species is a viable alternate source of Taxol
and related taxanes,
which can be used for production and/or semisynthesis of the drug. Cell cultures
are readily renewable and yield relatively homogeneous, easily manipulated systems
for biosynthetic studies on Taxol
, amenable to large-scale commercial production.
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