Effect of elicitors on the production of pyrroloquinazoline alkaloids by stimulating anthranilate synthase activity in Adhatoda vasica Nees cell cultures.

PMID 28819874


Pyrroloquinazoline alkaloids are medicinally important compounds, determined by HPLC from cell cultures of Adhatoda vasica . The maximum production of vasicinone (12-fold) and vasicine (8.3-fold) was enhanced by stimulating the anthranilate synthase activity via feeding of tryptophan and sorbitol. The decoction of Adhatoda vasica leaves is used for the treatment of throat irritations, inflammations and recommended as expectorant. The plant species contains pyrroloquinazoline alkaloids and has been reported to demonstrate various biological activities. To investigate the effect of elicitors to increase the production of alkaloids, five groups (auxins and cytokinins, biotic elicitors, polysaccharides, amino acids and salts) of elicitors were evaluated. Maximum production of vasicinone (72.74 ± 0.74 mg/g DW; 12-fold) and vasicine (99.44 ± 0.28 mg/g DW; 8.3-fold) was enhanced by feeding of tryptophan and sorbitol at 50 mM concentration in cell cultures. Fourteen free amino acids were estimated from the elicited cells. Sorbitol stimulated up to a maximum accumulation of serine (8.2-fold). The maximal anthranilate synthase (AS) activity (7.5 ± 0.47 pkat/mg protein; 2.9-fold) was induced by salicylic acid and sorbitol. Anthranilate synthase functions as rate-limiting factor for the biosynthesis of pyrroloquinazoline alkaloids. Our results support the widespread use of tryptophan and sorbitol as elicitors to raise the production of vasicinone, vasicine, 2-acetyl benzyl amine and other pyrroloquinazoline alkaloids in cell cultures of A. vasica.