Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Project To Turn Plant Cells Into Medical Factories

Date:
September 22, 2008
Source:
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
Summary:
A large four-year project is launching in Europe to develop methods for production of valuable pharmaceutical compounds using plant cells as a production host in an effective and controlled manner. The methods based on plant biotechnology are an alternative to chemical synthesis. By controlling the cell metabolism of a 'green factory', i.e. a living plant cell, it is possible to affect the production of desired high-value compounds. This kind of metabolic engineering also stimulates the cells towards producing completely new compounds.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland will coordinate the large EU research project called SmartCell. The four-year project focuses on developing methods for production of valuable pharmaceutical compounds using plant cells as a production host in an effective and controlled manner.

The methods based on plant biotechnology are an alternative to chemical synthesis. By controlling the cell metabolism of a 'green factory', i.e. a living plant cell, it is possible to affect the production of desired high-value compounds. This kind of metabolic engineering also stimulates the cells towards producing completely new compounds.

Plants generate valuable secondary metabolic compounds, which can be used as pharmaceuticals. Most of these compounds are so complex that their chemical synthesis is not economically feasible. This is why biotechnology opens up a whole new avenue of possibilities. The SmartCell project will focus on terpene compounds, which are valuable for the pharmaceutical industry. These compounds for example are used in the treatment of cancer and malaria. The expertise and technology created during the project can be applied to a considerable extent in developing the biotechnological production of other compound groups in plants and plant cells.

"The opportunities offered by plant biotechnology could be much more extensively exploited in the pharmaceutical industry. The latest research methods can be used to intensify the production of valuable agents in plant cells; in a manner of speaking, plant cells could become real 'green factories'," says project coordinator, Chief Research Scientist Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey of VTT.

The SmartCell project brings together research partners from fourteen leading European research institutes and universities as well as three small and medium-sized and two major industrial enterprises. In addition to VTT, the project participants include e.g. VIB (Belgium), Leiden University (the Netherlands), Lleida University (Spain) and Fraunhofer IME Aachen, (Germany). The project's total budget is EUR 8.5 million, of which the EU's contribution is EUR 6 million. The contractual negotiations will soon be concluded, and the project will start in January 2009.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). "Project To Turn Plant Cells Into Medical Factories." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919075011.htm>.
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). (2008, September 22). Project To Turn Plant Cells Into Medical Factories. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919075011.htm
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). "Project To Turn Plant Cells Into Medical Factories." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919075011.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins