Taxol: biosynthesis, molecular genetics, and biotechnological applications
- Cite this article as:
- Jennewein, S. & Croteau, R. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2001) 57: 13. doi:10.1007/s002530100757
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Over the past decade, Taxol and its closely related structural analogue Taxotere have emerged as very important antitumor agents. Their widespread use in the treatment of a variety of cancer types, their likely approval for the treatment of additional forms of cancer, and their use at earlier stages of intervention will lead to increased demand for these drugs in the future. Because of yield considerations, Taxol and Taxotere are currently derived via semisynthesis from the advanced taxoid 10-deacetylbaccatin III, which must be isolated from yew (Taxus) trees. Thus, efforts are underway to produce Taxol (and other advanced taxoids for use in semisynthesis) by alternate, biotechnological means. This article provides a current overview of research on taxoid biosynthesis and an assessment of bioengineering applications for taxoid production in yew cell culture.