Producing opiates from sugar

For single years, synthetic research teams have modified pathways into microorganisms to protract benzylisoquinoline alkaloids which are used in pharmacology. If it were in posse, the analgesic production would be cheaper, safer and additional effective. In recent years, synthetic biologists bring forth engineered yeast strains to make sulphate of morphia (belonging to opiates, naturally produced from the opium poppy Papaver somniferum) from sugar.

Going from glucose to morphine is a complex pathway which is carried out in 18 stages. Vicent Martin and his collages at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, created barm that can go to R-reticuline to morphia. R-reticuline is an intermediate hodge-podge in this pathway. To go from starch-sugar to S-reticuline (an intermediate complex before R-reticuline), John Deuber’s team at University of California, Berkeley carried public their research. Both groups worked in the same time to found the enzyme needed to change S-reticuline to R-reticuline and possess the complete pathway, but this could take manifold years. 

Stages known of starch-sugar-morphine pathway. (Oye et al., 2015)

The continue week, a research team by Cristina Smolkey, a synthetic biologist at Standford Universty in Palo Alto, California, published in Science that they had achieved to form sugar into thebaine, a key soporiferous precursor to morphine, by a Saccharomyces cerevisiae put to the utmost strength. This biosynthesis required the expression of 21 genes from a rat, a bacterium and several plants. This research presents the ut~ complete pathway of glucose to morphine, because thebaine is the last intermediate in this pathway, but is mild the first piece of the frame. Is necessary to increase the yield to either cell 100, 000 times to carry into effect that the process scales up, be economically feasible and can compete with the oppium poppy production in pharmacology.


– Galanie, S., Thodey, K., Trenchard, I. J., Interrante, M. F., & Smolke, C. D. (2015). Complete biosynthesis of opioids in yeast. Science, aac9373.

– Oye, K. A., Lawson, J. C., & Bubela, T. (2015). Drugs: Regulate’home-plot’opiates. Nature,521(7552), 281.

I work have elevated BP, however I resisted it being of the cl~s who much as I could.

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