Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación
Logo Universitat de Barcelona News UB Imagen de diagramación
    UB Home Imagen de diagramación
Imagen de diagramación
Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación
Imagen de diagramación


The UB coordinates a European research project for the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases with plant compounds

June 2009




Imagen de diagramación

Identifying and producing plant compounds for the treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases is the aim of the project “Plant terpenoids for human health: a chemical and genomic approach to identify and produce bioactive compounds” (TERPMED), funded by the 7th Framework Program of the EU. The project is coordinated by the Research Group in the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of Isoprenoids at the UB, headed by professors Albert Ferrer and Albert Boronat of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Faculties of Pharmacy and Biology.


Plants produce a great diversity of secondary metabolites, which are the source for new molecules with pharmacological activity. However, overexploitation of these resources can put the natural populations of the producing species at risk. This project combines a comparative genomic and metabolomic approach with a plant biotechnology approach with the objective of studying and reconstructing, in heterologous plant systems, metabolic pathways that allow efficient production of two families of terpenes, sesquiterpene lactones and phenolic diterpenes.

The compounds of interest are previously identified and isolated from the different plant species that produce them in limited amounts. The products presenting antitumoral and neuroprotective pharmacological activity are produced at semi-industrial scale using biotechnological platforms specifically developed in the project. Thanks to this system, active compounds of pharmacological interest are produced without putting the natural species at risk. The process also allows optimal production of active metabolites.

The members of the TERPMED project consortium are the University of Barcelona, Wageningen University (the Netherlands), Plant Research International at Wageningen (the Netherlands), the Institute of Biological Research «Sinisa Stankovic» in Belgrade (Serbia), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), Wisconsin University (USA), and the company consortium PRISNA B.V. (the Netherlands). The TERPMED consortium has been set up for a period of four years.

 

 


 
Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación Imagen de diagramación
  © Universitat de Barcelona Edition: Communication
Last update: 22.06.2009