Biotechnology Letters, Vol.32, No.2, 315-319, 2010
Conversion of alpha-amyrin into centellosides by plant cell cultures of Centella asiatica
Plant cell cultures of Centella asiatica produce small quantities of centellosides: madecassosid > asiaticosid > madecassic acid > asiatic acid. To obtain a more efficient production system of these bioactive triterpenoid compounds, we developed a process where the substrate, alpha-amyrin, was converted into centellosides by cell suspensions of C. asiatica. When alpha-amyrin in acetone was added at 0.01 mg/ml(-1) to the culture medium, together with the permeabilizing agent DMSO, after 7 days nearly 50% had penetrated the plant cells, of which almost 84% was transformed into centellosides. The system therefore efficiently converts alpha-amyrin into centellosides, thus opening a new possibility for the production of these compounds.