Biological, Chemical, and Omics Research of Taxus Medicinal Resources


Correspondence to: Pei-Gen Xiao, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical sciences/Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China.



Preclinical Research

Taxus is a botanical source for the anticancer drug taxol (paclitaxel), first reported in 1971 as a result of bioassay guided fractionation of active extracts from stem bark samples of T. brevifolia. This led to additional discoveries of pharmacologically active taxoids in other Taxus species and to investigations on their biosynthetic precursors, analogues, and derivatives. In continuation with our studies on Taxus biochemistry, we review the genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics of Taxus and their endophytic fungi. The bibliometric method is used to quantify and characterize the global scientific effort in the omics technologies being applied. We conclude that systems biology and omics technologies will play an increasingly important role in future medical research involving bioactive compounds of Taxus and other natural products.