Mucuna pruriens: improvement of the biotechnological production of the anti-Parkinson drug L-dopa by plant cell selection.

Pras N, Woerdenbag HJ, Batterman S, Visser JF, Van Uden W.

Department of Pharmacognosy, University Centre for Pharmacy, Groningen University, The Netherlands.

Routinely grown cell suspension cultures of Mucuna pruriens L. (Fabaceae) were able to endogenously accumulate the anti-Parkinson drug L-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa) in the range between 0.2 and 2% on a dry weight (DW) basis. The green colour that developed in light-exposed cultures, appeared to be a suitable marker to select cells with an increased L-dopa biosynthesis and/or phenoloxidase activity. For this purpose, saccharose concentrations from 0 to 4% (w/v), and light intensities of 1,000 and 2,000 lux, were involved in the selection procedure. After 6 months, photomixotrophic callus cultures with a rapid growth and a high L-dopa content of 0.9% (DW) were obtained on 2% saccharose and under 1,000 lux. The cell suspensions, derived from these calli, accumulated up to 6% (DW) L-dopa, which was the highest stable content ever measured in cultures of M. pruriens. An L-dopa yield of approximately 1.2 g/l was calculated after 6 days of growth. In contrast, compared wtih the standard-grown parent cell line, the phenoloxidase activity, and consequently the bioconversion capacity as measured after entrapment in calcium alginate, of these high-producing cultures was approximately threefold lower.

Pharm World Sci 1993 Dec 17;15(6):263-8
PMID: 8298586 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]