Yongpeng Li, Yinkai Yang, Ling Li, Kexuan Tang, Xiaolong Hao, Guoyin Kai

Advanced metabolic engineering strategies for increasing artemisinin yield in Artemisia annua L.

  • Horticulture
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology

Abstract Artemisinin, also known as “Qinghaosu”, is a chemically sesquiterpene lactone containing an endoperoxide bridge. Due to the high activity to kill Plasmodium parasites, artemisinin and its derivatives have continuously served as the foundation for antimalarial therapies. Natural artemisinin is unique to the traditional Chinese medicinal plant Artemisia annua L., and its content in this plant is low. This has motivated the synthesis of this bioactive compound using yeast, tobacco and Physcomitrium patens systems. However, the artemisinin production in these heterologous hosts is low and cannot fulfil its increasing clinical demand. Therefore, A. annua plants remain the major source of this bioactive component. Recently, the transcriptional regulatory networks related to artemisinin biosynthesis and glandular trichome formation have been extensively studied in A. annua. Various strategies including 1) enhancing the metabolic flux in artemisinin biosynthetic pathway, 2) blocking competition branch pathways, 3) using transcription factors (TFs), 4) increasing peltate glandular secretory trichome (GST) density, 5) applying exogenous factors, and 6) phytohormones have been used to improve artemisinin yields. Here we summarize recent scientific advances and achievements in artemisinin metabolic engineering, and discuss prospects in the development of high-artemisinin yielding A. annua varieties. This review provides new insights into revealing the transcriptional regulatory networks of other high value plant-derived natural compounds (e.g., taxol, vinblastine and camptothecin), as well as glandular trichome formation. It is also helpful for the researchers who intend to promote natural compounds production in other plants species.

Need a simple solution for managing your BibTeX entries? Explore CiteDrive!

  • Web-based, modern reference management
  • Collaborate and share with fellow researchers
  • Integration with Overleaf
  • Comprehensive BibTeX/BibLaTeX support
  • Save articles and websites directly from your browser
  • Search for new articles from a database of tens of millions of references
Try out CiteDrive

More from our Archive