Metabolism of Steroids in Plant Tissue Cultures
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.
KeywordsCholesterol Testosterone Progesterone Androgen Diol
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