In Bolivia, scientists develop transgenic tomatoes that produce a drug for Parkinson's

Fresh Tomato
Published Dec 24, 2020

Tridge summary

Scientists at the John Innes Center (UK) have developed a tomato enriched with the drug L-DOPA for Parkinson's disease, a breakthrough that could become a new and affordable source of an important global drug. This tomato was obtained by introducing a gene responsible for the synthesis of L-DOPA in beets, where it acts in the production of betalain pigments.

Original content

ohn Innes Center / December 9, 2020.- The development of the genetically modified (GM) tomato has implications for developing countries where access to pharmaceutical drugs is restricted. This novel use of tomato plants as a natural source of levodopa (L-DOPA) also offers benefits for people who suffer adverse effects, including nausea and behavioral complications, from chemically synthesized L-DOPA. Tomato was chosen as a widely cultivated crop that can be used to increase production and potentially offer a standardized and controlled natural source of L-DOPA. The team led by the John Innes Center modified the tomato fruit by introducing a gene responsible for the synthesis of L-DOPA in beets where it acts in the production of the pigments betalains. L-DOPA is made from tyrosine, an amino acid found in many foods. The research team inserted a gene that encodes a tyrosinase, an enzyme that uses tyrosine to build molecules like L-DOPA. This raised the level of L-DOPA specifically ...
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