Metabolism of Steroids in Plant Tissue Cultures

  • S. J. Stohs
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Plant tissue cultures offer a convenient means for the study of the biosynthesis and metabolism of steroids. As such, the number of steroids which have been isolated from plant tissue cultures as well as the number of steroids which have been used as substrates for plant tissue cultures has increased markedly in recent years. As an experimental tool, plant tissue cultures offer great convenience in the addition of precursors and steroidal substrates when investigating biotransformations. However, in using plant tissue cultures one may encounter a situation where one or more of the steroid metabolizing enzymes normally found in intact plants are absent in the corresponding tissue cultures. Such metabolite defects offer both advantages and disadvantages. For example, difficulties are encountered in investigating the biosynthetic pathways of some of the more complex steroids as the cardiac glycosides, due to the absence or existence of low levels of certain of the enzymes intermediate in the biosynthetic pathways. On the contrary, this absence of certain steroid metabolizing enzymes allows the accumulation of products intermediate in the biosynthetic route, facilitating isolation and identification of these products. As such, the potential for achieving large-scale biotransformation of steroids to selected products is enhanced.


Cholesterol Testosterone Progesterone Androgen Diol 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Benveniste, P., Hewlins, M.J.E., Fritig, B.: La biosynthèse des stérols dans les tissus de tabac cultivés in vitro: Cinétique de formation des sterols et de leurs précurseurs. Europ. J. Biochem. 9, 526–533 (1969)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Furuya, T., Kawaguchi, K., Hirotani, M.: Biotransformation of progesterone by suspension cultures of Digitalis purpurea cultures cells. Phytochemistry 12, 1621–1626 (1973)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Furuya, T., Hirotani, M., Kawaguchi, K.: Biotransformation of progesterone and pregnenolone by plant suspension cultures. Phytochemistry 10, 1013–1017 (1971)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Graves, J.M.H., Smith, W.K.: Transformation of pregnenolone and progesterone by cultured plant cells. Nature (London) 214, 1248–1249 (1967)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Heble, M.R., Narayanaswami, S., Chadha, M.S.: Hormonal control of steroid synthesis in Solanum xanthocavpum tissue cultures. Phytochemistry 10, 2393–2394 (1971)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Heintz, R., Benveniste, P.: Cyclisation de 1’epoxyde-2,3 de squalene par des microsomes extraits de tissus de tabac cultivés in vitro. Phytochemistry 9, 1499–1503 (1970)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Heintz, R., Benveniste, P.: Plant sterol metabolism: Enzymatic cleavage of the 9β, 19β-cyclopropane ring of cyclopropyl sterols in bramble tissue cultures. J. Biol. Chem. 249, 4267–4274 (1974)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hewlins, M.J.E., Ehrhardt, J.D., Hirth, L., Ourisson, G.: The conversion of C14-cycloartenol and C14-lanosterol into phytosterols by culture of Nicotiana tabacum. Europ. J. Biochem. 8, 184–188 (1969)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hirotani, M., Furuya, T.: Biotransformation of testosterone and other androgens by suspension cultures of Nicotiana tabacum (bright yellow). Phytochemistry 13, 2135–2142 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hirotani, M., Furuya, T.: Metabolism of 5β-pregnane-3,20-dione and 3β-hydroxy-5β-pregnan-20-one by Digitalis suspension cultures. Phytochemistry 14, 2601–2606 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kaul, B., Staba, E.J.: Dioscorea tissue cultures. I. Biosynthesis and isolation of diosgenin from Dioscorea deltoidea callus and suspension cells. Lloydia 31, 171–179 (1968)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kaul, B., Stohs, S.J., Staba, E.J.: Dioscorea tissue cultures. III. Influence of various factors on diosgenin production by Dioscorea deltoidea callus and suspension cultures. Lloydia 32, 347–359 (1969)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Khanna, P., Jain, S.C., Bansal, R.: Effect of cholesterol on growth and production of diosgenin, gitogenin, tigogenin and sterols in suspension cultures. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 13, 211–213 (1975)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Khanna, P., Bansal, R., Jain, S.C.: Effect of various hormones on production of sapogenins and sterols in Trigonella foenum-graecum L. suspension cultures. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 13, 582–583 (1975)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Knapp, F.F., Nicholas, H.J.: The biosynthesis of phytosterols in Musa sapientum. Phytochemistry 10, 85–95 (1971)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Marshall, J.G., Staba, E.J.: Hormonal effects on diosgenin biosynthesis and growth in Dioscorea deltoidea tissue cultures. Phytochemistry 15, 53–55 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schaefer, P.C., DeReinach, F., Ourisson, G.: The conversion of parkeol into its 24,25-epoxide by tissue cultures of Nicotana tabacum. Europ. J. Biochem. 14, 284–288 (1970)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Stohs, S.J.: The metabolism of progesterone by plant microsomes. Phytochemistry 8, 1215–1219 (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stohs, S.J., Kaul, D., Staba, E.J.: The metabolism of C14-cholesterol by Dioscorea deltoidea suspension cultures. Phytochemistry 8, 1679–1686 (1969)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Stohs, S.J., Olemy, M.M.: Cholesterol metabolism by Cheiranthus cheiri leaf and tissue culture homogenates. J. Steroid Biochem. 2, 293–298 (1971)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Stohs, S.J., Olemy, M.M.: Metabolism of progesterone by Dioscorea deltoidea suspension cultures. Phytochemistry 11, 1397–1400 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Stohs, S.J., Olemy, M.M.: Pregnenolome and progesterone metabolism by car-denolide producing plants. Phytochemistry 11, 2409–2413 (1972)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Stohs, S.J., Olemy, M.M.: 4-Androsten-3,17-dione metabolism by Dioscorea deltoidea suspension cultures. Lloydia 35, 81–83 (1972)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Stohs, S.J., Sabatka, J.J., Rosenberg, H.: Incorporation of 4-C14–22,23-H3-sitosterol into diosgenin by Dioscorea deltoidea tissue suspension cultures. Phytochemistry 13, 2145–2148 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stohs, S.J.: Metabolism of 3β-hydroxy-5α- and 3β-hydroxy-5β-pregnan-20-one by leaf homogenates. Phytochemistry 14, 2419–2422 (1975)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Stohs, S.J.: Unpubl. observationsGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Stohs, S.J., Rosenberg, H.: Steroids and steroid metabolism in plant tissue cultures. Lloydia 38, 181–194 (1975)PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Tomita, Y., Uomoro, A.: Mechanism of biosynthesis of the ethyl side-chain at C-24 of stigmasterol in tissue cultures of Nicotiana tabacum and Dioscorea tokoro. Chem. Comm. 1970, 1416–1417 (1970)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Tomita, Y., Uomori, A.: Biosynthesis of sapogenins in tissue cultures of Dioscorea tokoro Makino. Chem. Commun. 1971, 284 (1971)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tomita, Y., Seo, S.: Biosynthesis of the terpenes maslinic acid and 3-epimas-linic acid in tissue cultures of Isodon japonicus Hara. J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Comm. 1973, 707–708 (1973)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tomita, Y., Uomori, A.: Structure and biosynthesis of prototokoronin in tissue cultures of Dioscorea tokoro. Phytochemistry 13, 729–733 (1974)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. J. Stohs

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations