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:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. ... ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport ... taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements ... was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is ... herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice ... overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, ... a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was ... his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” ... He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... According to a new market ... Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, ... of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts ... market for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. ... by 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016  MedSource ... platform as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  ... the best possible value to their clients by ... nowEDC.  The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the ... pricing for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... startling report released today, National Safety Council research shows ... plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription Nation ... the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, assigned a "Making ... , New Mexico , Tennessee ... states, three – Michigan , Missouri ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: