Anthraquinone production by cell suspension cultures of Morindacitrifolia

Author(s): Zenk MH, el-Shagi H, Schulte U


Synthesis of anthraquinones (AQs) involves the shikimate and 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate pathways. The proline cycle is linked to the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) to generate NADPH needed in the first steps of this pathway. The effect of two proline analogs, azetidine-2-carboxylic acid (A2C) and thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid (T4C), were evaluated in Morinda citrifolia suspension cultures. Both analogs gave higher proline accumulation after 6 and 10 days (68 and 179% after 6 days with A2C at 25 and 50 μM, respectively, and 111% with T4C added at 100 μM). Induction of the proline cycle increased the AQ content after 6 days (~40% for 50 μM A2C and 100 μM T4C). Whereas A2C (50 μM) increased only AQ production, T4C also enhanced total phenolics. However, no induction of the PPP was observed with any of the treatments. This pathway therefore does not limit the supply of carbon skeletons to secondary metabolic pathways.

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