Franziska Kellner

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The medicinal plant Madagascar periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don, produces hundreds of biologically active monoterpene-derived indole alkaloid (MIA) metabolites and is the sole source of the potent, expensive anti-cancer compounds vinblastine and vincristine. Access to a genome sequence would enable insights into the biochemistry, control, and(More)
The extraordinary chemical diversity of the plant-derived monoterpene indole alkaloids, which include vinblastine, quinine, and strychnine, originates from a single biosynthetic intermediate, strictosidine aglycone. Here we report for the first time the cloning of a biosynthetic gene and characterization of the corresponding enzyme that acts at this crucial(More)
Here we report the discovery of a cytochrome P450 that is required for the biosynthesis of vindoline, a plant-derived natural product used for semi-synthesis of several anti-cancer drugs. This enzyme catalyzes the formation of an epoxide that can undergo rearrangement to yield the vincamine-eburnamine backbone, thereby providing evidence for the(More)
Plants make specialized bioactive metabolites to defend themselves against attackers. The conserved control mechanisms are based on transcriptional activation of the respective plant species-specific biosynthetic pathways by the phytohormone jasmonate. Knowledge of the transcription factors involved, particularly in terpenoid biosynthesis, remains(More)
Hydroxylation of tabersonine at the C-16 position, catalyzed by tabersonine 16-hydroxylase (T16H), initiates the synthesis of vindoline that constitutes the main alkaloid accumulated in leaves of Catharanthus roseus. Over the last decade, this reaction has been associated with CYP71D12 cloned from undifferentiated C. roseus cells. In this study, we isolated(More)
Expansion of the biosynthesis of plant specialized metabolites notably results from the massive recruitment of cytochrome P450s that catalyze multiple types of conversion of biosynthetic intermediates. For catalysis, P450s require a two-electron transfer catalyzed by shared cytochrome P450 oxidoreductases (CPRs), making these auxiliary proteins an essential(More)
The natural product class of iridoids, found in various species of flowering plants, harbors astonishing chemical complexity. The discovery of iridoid biosynthetic genes in the medicinal plant Catharanthus roseus has provided insight into the biosynthetic origins of this class of natural product. However, not all iridoids share the exact five- to(More)
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