Navigation Links
Plant researchers locate transporter used for nicotine metabolism
Date:11/1/2011

The next time you take aspirin for a headache, thank a willow tree. Salicylic acid, a compound chemically similar to aspirin, is found in willow tree bark and is made by the plant as a chemical defense against pathogens. By mimicking the chemical production processes of plants, scientists have been able to synthetically produce and engineer many important alkaloid drug products, including caffeine, atropine (an anti-spasmodic used to treat heart arrhythmia), nicotine, morphine and quinine.

The trick, however, is to understand how a plant produces these compounds and then transports them through the plant. A team of Virginia Tech and Purdue University scientists have identified a distinct transporter used by tobacco plant cells for nicotine metabolism. The research appears in the Oct. 17 online before print issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) in the article, "A tobacco nicotine uptake permease effects alkaloid metabolism."

The transporter, called nicotine uptake permease (NUP1) allows alkaloids nitrogen-containing compounds to pass into plant cells. The transporter is a tubular structure found in the outer boundary of the plant cell, known as the plasma membrane. Passage of alkaloids from one cell to another in an assembly line fashion is crucial to the biosynthesis of many medicinal plant alkaloids. However, prior to the study, it was not known exactly how the alkaloids were able to move either in or out of the cell.

"We knew that the general process of going in and out is important for alkaloid metabolism, but we didn't know the details," said John Jelesko, associate professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science at Virginia Tech. "The NUP1 transporter is very specific for nicotine other closely related alkaloids don't use this transporter. That degree of specificity is rather unusual."

Identification of the transporter is a first step in understanding details about how the tobacco plant manages nicotine transport processes. So far, it is known that the chemical is made in the roots of tobacco plants, as a response to a pathogen attack. When ingested by insects and other organisms, it is a powerful neurotoxin, causing paralysis. Once produced in the roots, it is transported up through the rest of the plant by tube-like passageways called xylem and accumulates in the leaves. Tobacco farmers harvest nicotine by collecting the plant's leaves.

The scientists were able to locate the transporter using a "guilt by association" tactic, Jelesko said. The NUP1 gene was identified by looking for genes that were turned up or down in concert with known nicotine biosynthesis genes. The discovery of the transporter helps scientists gain new insight into the overarching field of medicinal alkaloid production in plants, Jelesko said. Understanding the complete process could enable bioengineering of medicinal plants to produce an optimal amount of compounds beneficial for treatment.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lindsay Key
ltkey@vt.edu
540-231-6594
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. UK HealthCare surgeons are first to perform novel procedures prior to transplant
2. High-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation increases survival
3. Lab-made skin cells will aid transplantation, cancer, drug discovery research
4. Research finds gallium nitride is non-toxic, biocompatible - holds promise for implants
5. Heart transplant surgery safe and effective: A Canadian retrospective spanning 3 decades
6. Biomarker detects graft-versus-host-disease in cancer patients after bone marrow transplant
7. Successful pregnancy possible after kidney transplant
8. Public reporting hasnt improved transplant centers care
9. Study uncovers why anti-rejection drugs for transplant patients cause hypertension
10. Stem Cell Therapy Might Help Kidney Transplant Patients
11. Transforming medical implants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The International Association ... standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the opening of ... 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care ... have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. ... for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented ... the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is ... events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco ... using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated ... in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized ... have expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October ... a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 ... single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory ... Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância ... first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED ... optimal access, illumination and exposure of a tissue ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 The Rebound mobile app ... struggle to reverse the tide of prescription drug addiction. The ... their medicine intake and stepping down their dosage in a ... launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 people to sign ... at http://www.rebound-solution.com/ ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017   Montrium , an industry ... today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection ... that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF ... TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research ... increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: