Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 136, Issue 1, pp 101–108 | Cite as

Improving of cephalotaxine production in Cephalotaxus mannii suspension cultures by alanine and its derivatives

  • Yong-Cheng LiEmail author
  • Xuan-Xian Jiang
Original Article


The effects of l-alanine and its derivatives on cephalotaxine production of Cephalotaxus mannii suspension cultures were investigated in this paper. l-alanine, l-cyclohexylalanine and d-alanine, respectively were added to the suspension cultures of C. mannii cell at day 15 of cultivation. The cultures treated with l-cyclohexylalanine showed the highest cephalotaxine yield in all treated cultures. The yield of cephalotaxine obtained reached 5.21 mg L−1, 7.03 mg L−1 and 4.85 mg L−1, respectively, while treated with the optimal concentrations of l-alanine, l-cyclohexylalanine and d-alanine, which were 1.8, 2.5 and 1.7 times that of the control cultures (2.85 mg L−1). To gain better understanding of their effect mechanisms on cephalotaxine production, some key enzymes and intermediate metabolites in metabolic pathway were analyzed. It was found that the activity of pyruvate kinase (PK) was inhibited and the content of pyruvic acid in cells decreased simultaneously in all treatment cells. The activity of PK was decreased by 44% and the content of pyruvic acid was reduced by 31% in the cells treated with l-cyclohexylalanine compared with the controls. Conversely, the activity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase of pentose phosphate pathway (HMP) was increased after adding l-alanine and its derivatives to the cultures. Based on the experimental results, it may be inferred that enhancing the flux of HMP with alanine and its derivatives benefits the biosynthesis of cephalotaxine.


Suspension culture Cephalotaxus mannii l-alanine l-cyclohexylalanine Cephalotaxine 



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 21766006).

Author contributions

Y-C L: designed the study, analyzed the results and revised the manuscript. X-X J: performed the experiments and wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflicts of interest to this work.

Research involving human and animal participants

No human participants and/or animals are involved in this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of FoodHainan UniversityHaikouPeople’s Republic of China

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