Metabolic engineering of chloroplasts for artemisinic acid biosynthesis and impact on plant growth

Bhawna Saxena, Mayavan Subramaniyan, Karan Malhotra, Neel Sarovar Bhavesh, Shobha Devi Potlakayala, Shashi Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chloroplasts offer high-level transgene expression and transgene containment due to maternal inheritance, and are ideal hosts for biopharmaceutical biosynthesis via multigene engineering. To exploit these advantages, we have expressed 12 enzymes in chloroplasts for the biosynthesis of artemisinic acid (precursor of artemisinin, antimalarial drug) in an alternative plant system. Integration of transgenes into the tobacco chloroplast genome via homologous recombination was confirmed by molecular analysis, and biosynthesis of artemisinic acid in plant leaf tissues was detected with the help of 13C NMR and ESI-mass spectrometry. The excess metabolic flux of isopentenyl pyrophosphate generated by an engineered mevalonate pathway was diverted for the biosynthesis of artemisinic acid. However, expression of megatransgenes impacted the growth of the transplastomic plantlets. By combining two exogenous pathways, artemisinic acid was produced in transplastomic plants, which can be improved further using better metabolic engineering strategies for commercially viable yield of desirable isoprenoid products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biosciences
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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