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De nova of transcription regulators from taxol®-producing endophytic fungi

Project description

Engineering fungi for taxol production

Taxol is an anticancer chemotherapy drug that functions as a microtubule inhibitor, stalling cell division. Taxol is traditionally extracted from yew trees which nowadays cannot meet market demands for the drug. As a result, there is a great interest to exploit taxol-producing fungi for industrial-scale production of taxol. The EU-funded Taxol biosynthesis project proposes a new method to improve the biosynthetic rate of taxol in fungi. The underlying principle is to identify the transcription factors that regulate the taxol pathway and establish a fungal engineering approach that can be implemented in industrial fermentation.


We propose to biosynthesis de novo of fungal taxol® production by the regulation of transcription factors (TFs). However, such a scenario is not yet to be investigated in case of taxol-producing endophytic fungi. The principle aim of this project is to isolate TFs genes WRKY, AP2, MYP etc. that specifically regulate the expression of taxol biosynthetic rate limiting gene promoters using transient RNAi. The attractive features of this study, examining the elicitor-induced regulator of selected TFs genes to see whether their mRNA levels correlate with fungal taxol biosynthesis. In order to identify key regulators of taxol pathway, cDNAs will be explore to obtain the recombinant TF protein. This project offer de nova interactions between the TFs and the TB gene promoters, which results of DNA binding cis-elements. It can be exploited to produce superior increased taxol yields from wild or transgenic fungi. This programme of work will provide a new strategy for unlocking the full potential of fungal biotechnology at the interface with metabolic engineering and rDNA technology to establish of fungal fermentation through genetic engineering approaches. The complementary expertise of Dr Kamal (Fungal biotechnology) and the supervisor Prof. Dr. Frank Kempken (FK) (Fungal genetic and molecular biology) offer the unique combination to realize the fungal taxol biosynthetic potential. Overall, this research will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the key TFs that control elicitor induced metabolic changes to produce highest yield of fungal taxol and will provide intellectual property (IP), technology development, which lead to Dr. Kamal with new and cutting-edge research training.


Net EU contribution
€ 174 806,40
Olshausenstrasse 40
24118 Kiel

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Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein Kiel, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00