ELICITOR-MEDIATED AUGMENTATION OF PODOPHYLLOTOXIN BIOSYNTHESIS IN PODOPHYLLUM HEXANDRUM ROYLE: UNVEILING A REMARKABLE ANTICANCER POTENTIAL

Main Article Content

Zahoor Khan
Dr. Bushra Khan
Dr. Javaid Iqbal
Dr. Majid Khan
Dr. Jawad Saeed
Dr. Syed Tanveer Shah
Dr. Hina
Sanan Abid

Keywords

podophyllotoxin, cell suspension culture, elicitors, chitosan, NaCl, sodium alginate, and salicylic acid

Abstract

Podophyllotoxin (PTOX), also known as podophyllin, is one of the most remarkable secondary metabolites of Podophyllum hexandrum (P. hexandrum). PTOX showcases a broad spectrum of therapeutic properties. Notably, PTOX and its derivatives demonstrate anticancer, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, insecticidal, antiparasitic, and radioprotective effects. These compounds are utilized in the treatment of leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis. The objective of this investigation was to assess the impact of various elicitors on podophyllotoxin (PTOX) production, a valuable anticancer agent, in in-vitro cultures of P. hexandrum, a medicinal plant. The addition of chitosan, sodium chloride (NaCl), salicylic acid, and sodium alginate (NaAlg) enhanced podophyllotoxin production in callus suspension cultures. Results indicated that chitosan exhibited the highest efficacy among the elicitors, followed by NaCl, NaAlg, and salicylic acid. Optimal elicitor concentrations were determined to be 50 mg L-1 for chitosan, 50 mg L-1 for NaCl, 15 mg L-1 for salicylic acid, and 20 mg L-1 for NaAlg. Although the highest PTOX yield (619.33 µg/g DW) was achieved with chitosan at 150 mg L-1, higher concentrations adversely affected growth. PTOX accumulation was also influenced by the growth phase of the culture, with the exponential phase exhibiting the highest levels. Treatment with NaAlg resulted in a fivefold increase in PTOX compared to the control, highlighting the potential of this method for augmenting PTOX production. This study underscores the efficacy of elicitors in enhancing PTOX production in P. hexandrum cultures. Chitosan emerged as the most potent compound for stimulating podophyllotoxin production in callus suspension cultures of P. hexandrum, suggesting its promise as an elicitor for PTOX biosynthesis.

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