Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 307–339

Catharanthus biosynthetic enzymes: the road ahead

  • Víctor Manuel Loyola-Vargas
  • Rosa M. Galaz-Ávalos
  • Roberto Kú-Cauich
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11101-007-9064-2

Cite this article as:
Loyola-Vargas, V.M., Galaz-Ávalos, R.M. & Kú-Cauich, R. Phytochem Rev (2007) 6: 307. doi:10.1007/s11101-007-9064-2

Abstract

Alkaloids are one of the most diverse groups of secondary metabolites found in living organisms. The most economically important alkaloids are the bisindole vinblastine, and vincristine. Unraveling the complexity of the genetic, catalytic and transport processes of monoterpene indole alkaloids biosynthesis is one of the most stimulating intellectual challenges in the plant secondary metabolism field. More than 50 metabolic steps are required to synthesize the most important alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus. Until now about only 20 of the 50 enzymes required for their biosynthesis have been determined and characterized. Hence, there are still a number of important enzymes that need to be characterized, beginning with the isolation and cloning of genes. It is also of fundamental importance to elucidate the regulatory aspects of their biosynthesis, both at the cellular and the molecular level, in order to address the question of their function in the plants that are producing them. In this review, we present an analysis of the state of the art related to the biosynthesis of the monoterpene indole alkaloids.

Keywords

Biosynthetic pathwayCatharanthus roseusTerpenoid indole-alkaloids

Abbreviations

AVLBS

α-3′, 4′-Anhydrovinblastine synthase

CaaX-PTases

CaaX-prenyltransferases

CPR

Cytochrome P450 reductase

DMAPP

Dimethylallyl diphosphate

GPP

Geranyl diphosphate

IPP

Isopentenyl pyrophosphate

MeJa

Methyl jasmonate

MEP

2-C-methylerythritol 4-phosphate

PFT

Protein farnesyltransferas

PGGT-I

Type I protein geranylgeranyltransferase

STR

Strictosidine synthase

TDC

Tryptophan decarboxylase

TIAs

Terpenoid indole-alkaloids

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Víctor Manuel Loyola-Vargas
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rosa M. Galaz-Ávalos
    • 1
  • Roberto Kú-Cauich
    • 1
  1. 1.Unidad de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular de PlantasCentro de Investigación Científica de YucatánColonia Chuburna de HidalgoMexico
  2. 2.Center for Rhizosphere BiologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA