Researchers identify last remaining steps in the biosynthesis of tropane alkaloids from Coca

Source: ScienceDaily

Tropane alkaloids (TAs) are heterocyclic nitrogenous metabolites found across seven orders of angiosperms, including Malpighiales (Erythroxylaceae) and Solanales (Solanaceae). Despite the well-established euphorigenic properties of Erythroxylaceae TAs like cocaine, their biosynthetic pathway remains incomplete. Using yeast as a screening platform, an international research team identified and characterized the missing steps of TA biosynthesis in Erythroxylum coca.