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Antitumor Agents: Taxol and Taxanes—Production by Yew Cell Culture

  1. Arthur G. Fett-Neto1,
  2. Hideki Aoyagi2,
  3. Hideo Tanaka2,
  4. Frank DiCosmo3

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200300127

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Fett-Neto, A. G., Aoyagi, H., Tanaka, H. and DiCosmo, F. 2006. Antitumor Agents: Taxol and Taxanes—Production by Yew Cell Culture. Encyclopedia of Molecular Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande Do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil

  2. 2

    University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

  3. 3

    University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

Taxol™ is an anticancer drug increasingly used for the approved treatment of various cancer types, including ovarian, breast, lung, head and neck, bladder and cervix, melanomas, and AIDS-related Karposi's sarcoma. The supply of this compound is limited because of expanding demand and the fact that the only commercial source is the biomass of Taxus species. Yew trees grow relatively slowly, contain low and variable amounts of Taxol™, and in many cases are located in protected, environmentally sensitive areas. The bulk of current Taxol™ production derives from semisynthesis starting from 10-deacetyl baccatin III, a precursor obtained from yew needles. Cell culture of yew species is a viable alternate source of Taxol™ and related taxanes, which can be used for production and/or semisynthesis of the drug. Cell cultures are readily renewable and yield relatively homogeneous, easily manipulated systems for biosynthetic studies on Taxol™, amenable to large-scale commercial production.

Keywords:

  • Callus;
  • Cell Suspension;
  • Explant;
  • Taxane;
  • Taxol™ (general name Paclitaxel);
  • Taxus