Antitumor Agents: Taxol and Taxanes – Production by Yew Cell Culture
437
may allow for more efFcient and ratio-
nal control of the metabolic flux toward
speciFc taxanes of interest. Genetically
engineering cell cultures with these ‘‘mas-
ter’’ regulatory genes may facilitate the
control of the complex pathways leading
to Taxol
and related taxanes. Interest-
ingly, recent progress has been made in
the control of the pathways leading to
monoterpene indole alkaloids in
C. roseus
by genetically modifying the expression of
the ORCA family of transcription factors,
which regulate the expression of biosyn-
thetic genes involved in the indolic portion
of the pathway and which are activated by
jasmonate and related compounds. Since
taxane biosynthesis is also strongly in-
duced by jasmonate, it is possible that
homologs of these transcription factors
operate in yew species. Other potential
targets for genetic modiFcation in yew cell
cultures include gene products responsi-
ble for taxane transport in and out of cells
and between subcellular compartments.
The continued analysis and character-
ization of new taxanes produced in cell
cultures may directly yield or provide leads
to the development of pharmaceutically
more efFcient Taxol
analogs. Moreover,
new and important bioactivities may be
uncovered from the vast chemical array
of taxanes.
See also
Medicinal Chemistry.
Bibliography
Books and Reviews
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Croteau, R.
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Taxol:
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Zhong, J.J.
(2002)
Plant
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