Paclitaxel: Biosynthesis, production and future prospects

Susan Howat, Bora Park, Il Suk Oh, Young-Woo Jin, Eun-Kyong Lee, Gary J. Loake*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plants are capable of producing a wide variety of secondary metabolites which have a diverse range of functions that can be exploited for medicinal purposes; for example, paclitaxel is a major anti-cancer drug found in the bark of Taxus spp. There are however supply issues as the compound is only found at low concentrations (0.05%) within the plant. The complex paclitaxel biosynthetic pathway makes chemical synthesis non-commercially viable; therefore alternative biotechnological sources have been explored for production including heterologous expression systems and plant cell culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-245
Number of pages4
JournalNew Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2014


  • plant cell culture
  • 1st total-synthesis
  • natural product
  • isoprenoid biosynthesis
  • taxol
  • taxus
  • taxadiene
  • Taxa-4(5),11(12)-Diene
  • ring


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