LE STUDIUM RESEARCH FELLOW / ARD 2020 - BIOPHARMACEUTICALS Programme
In residence at
Dr Vincent Courdavault
Bio-production of vindoline and catharanthine by recombinant yeast cell factories
The tropical plant Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) is naturally able to synthesize anti-cancer monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIA), such as vinblastine and vincristine.
The C. roseus MIA biosynthetic pathway is however regarded as the most complex pathway in all living organisms and shows surprising compartmentation at both cellular and subcellular levels. This drastic compartmentation is potentially responsible for the extremely low level of production of MIA in planta.
Our research project precisely aims to develop recombinant yeast cell factories in order to achieve heterologous bio-production of vindoline and catharanthine, two precursors of highly valuable anticancer MIA, originally produced by C. roseus.
To achieve this goal, a combination of metabolic and cell surface engineering approaches, using cutting-edge tools of synthetic biology in backer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) will be used.
Keywords: Anti-cancer compounds; Monoterpene Indole Alkaloids (MIA); secondary metabolites; traditional medicinal plants; yeast metabolic engineering; bio-reactor.