Frontiers in Natural Product Chemistry

Volume: 5

Overview of Past and Present Developments Towards Biotechnological and Molecular Approaches to Improve Taxol Production

Author(s): Samavia Mubeen, Chun-Tao He, Bilal Ahmad Asad and Zhong-Yi Yang

Pp: 95-145 (51)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811423772119050006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Taxol (paclitaxel) is one of the most used chemotherapeutic drugs, first isolated from Pacific yew tree T. brevifolia. It is used for several cancer treatments due to its unique mechanism of action. The demand for taxol supply was exceeded significantly due to its low accumulation in Taxus sp., slow growth of the tree and high cost of extraction. Due to these reasons, considerable efforts have been carried out to explore the alternative sources, including plants other than Taxus sp., total and semisynthesis of taxol, plant cell culture technology, and endophytic fungi. The biosynthesis of taxol is a complex pathway and several genes associated with taxol biosynthesis are identified and cloned. Transcriptomic studies of the critical genes involved in taxol biosynthesis pathway provided valuable insight in gene regulation patterns about metabolite synthesis. Also, recent advances in metabolic engineering have demonstrated the potential of genes regulation to increase taxol production. This chapter provides a more in-depth insight into basic and applied research to increase taxol production.

Keywords: Biosynthetic pathway, Cancer treatment, Metabolic engineering, Natural products, Secondary metabolites, Taxol, Taxus, Taxol production, Taxanes, Taxol toxicity.

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