Research press release


Nature Chemical Biology

Production of opiates using yeast



酵母によるアヘン剤生産の可能性を探るため、Christina Smolkeたちは、一連の酵素を酵母に導入し、化学中間体「テバイン」をモルヒネおよび関連分子に転換させた。研究チームは、代謝工学的戦略を利用して、各種酵素の相対的な量を最適化するとともに、それを酵母細胞内で空間的に分離して、さらに複雑な植物細胞内での局在状況を模倣した。最後に、オピオイドに作用するように進化させた細菌から発見された酵素を加えることにより、ヒドロコドンやオキシコドンなど別の産物も得られた。経路全体の構築には研究の進展が必要と考えられる。

Engineered yeasts can be induced to synthesize morphine and other natural and semisynthetic analogs, reports a study published online this week in Nature Chemical Biology. This work demonstrates an important step toward engineered opioid production.

Opiates such as morphine are commonly used in medicines, but their chemical complexity means that commercial production is limited, with current strategies relying on plant extraction. Engineered biosynthesis of morphine and related molecules by microorganisms such as E. coli and yeast would greatly simplify production. However, not all of the genes in the biosynthetic pathway have been identified, and of those that are known, only a few have been tested in different host species.

To explore the production of opiates in yeast, Christina Smolke and colleagues introduced a series of enzymes into yeast to convert the chemical intermediate, thebaine, into morphine and related molecules. The authors used metabolic engineering strategies to optimize the relative amounts of the different enzymes and to spatially separate them within the yeast cells to mimic their localization in more complex plant cells. Finally, by adding enzymes identified from bacteria evolved to act on opioids, the authors were able to make additional products such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. Further efforts will be required to build the entire pathway.

doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1613

「Nature 関連誌注目のハイライト」は、ネイチャー広報部門が報道関係者向けに作成したリリースを翻訳したものです。より正確かつ詳細な情報が必要な場合には、必ず原著論文をご覧ください。

メールマガジンリストの「Nature 関連誌今週のハイライト」にチェックをいれていただきますと、毎週最新のNature 関連誌のハイライトを皆様にお届けいたします。