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Applied biochemistry and biotechnology

Production of triterpenoid anti-cancer compound taraxerol in Agrobacterium-transformed root cultures of butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea L.).


PMID 22843061

Abstract

Independent transformed root somaclones (rhizoclones) of butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea L.) were established using explant co-cultivation with Agrobacterium rhizogenes. Rhizoclones capable of sustained growth were maintained under low illumination in auxin-free agar-solidified MS medium through subcultures at periodic intervals. Integration of T(L)-DNA rolB gene in the transformed rhizoclone genome was verified by Southern blot hybridization, and the transcript expression of T(R)-DNA ags and man2 genes was ascertained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis. The major compound isolated and purified from the transformed root extracts was identified as the pentacyclic triterpenoid compound taraxerol using IR, (1)H-NMR, and (13)C-NMR spectroscopy. The taraxerol yield in cultured hairy roots, as quantified by HPTLC analysis, was up to 4-fold on dry weight basis compared to that in natural roots. Scanning of bands from cultured transformed roots and natural roots gave super-imposable spectra with standard taraxerol, suggesting a remarkable homology in composition. To date, this is the first report claiming production of the cancer therapeutic phytochemical taraxerol in genetically transformed root cultures as a viable alternative to in vivo roots of naturally occurring plant species.

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