Efficient microbial production of stylopine using a Pichia pastoris expression system

Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 29;6:22201. doi: 10.1038/srep22201.


Stylopine is a protoberberine-type alkaloid that has potential biological activities. Based on the successful microbial production of (S)-reticuline, we attempted to produce stylopine from (S)-reticuline by the reaction of berberine bridge enzyme, cheilanthifoline synthase (CYP719A5), and stylopine synthase (CYP719A2). Biosynthetic enzyme expression was examined in a methanol-utilizing yeast (Pichia pastoris), and both a "consolidated" system with all genes expressed in one cell and a "co-culture" system with three cell lines that each express a single gene were examined. Although both systems efficiently converted reticuline to stylopine, the consolidated system was more rapid and efficient than the co-culture system. However, substrate-feeding experiments revealed a decrease in the conversion efficiency in the consolidated system during successive cultures, whereas the conversion efficiency in the co-culture system remained constant. Thus, the final amount of stylopine produced from reticuline after successive feedings in the co-culture system was more than 150 nmoles from 750 nmoles of (R, S)-reticuline (375 nmoles of (S)-reticuline). The advantages and drawbacks of the "consolidated" system and the "co-culture" system are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Berberine Alkaloids / chemistry
  • Berberine Alkaloids / isolation & purification
  • Berberine Alkaloids / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Fermentation*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Pichia / genetics*
  • Pichia / metabolism*


  • Berberine Alkaloids
  • stylopine