Jablonická, V.; Ziegler, J.; Vatehová, Z.; Lišková, D.; Heilmann, I.; Obložinský, M.; Heilmann, M.; Inhibition of phospholipases influences the metabolism of wound-induced benzylisoquinoline alkaloids in Papaver somniferum L. J. Plant Physiol. 223, 1-8, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2018.01.007
Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) are important secondary plant metabolites and include medicinally relevant drugs, such as morphine or codeine. As the de novo synthesis of BIA backbones is (still) unfeasible, to date the opium poppy plant Papaver somniferum L. represents the main source of BIAs. The formation of BIAs is induced in poppy plants by stress conditions, such as wounding or salt treatment; however, the details about regulatory processes controlling BIA formation in opium poppy are not well studied. Environmental stresses, such as wounding or salinization, are transduced in plants by phospholipid-based signaling pathways, which involve different classes of phospholipases. Here we investigate whether pharmacological inhibition of phospholipase A2 (PLA2, inhibited by aristolochic acid (AA)) or phospholipase D (PLD; inhibited by 5-fluoro-2-indolyl des-chlorohalopemide (FIPI)) in poppy plants influences wound-induced BIA accumulation and the expression of key biosynthetic genes. We show that inhibition of PLA2 results in increased morphinan biosynthesis concomitant with reduced production of BIAs of the papaverine branch, whereas inhibition of PLD results in increased production of BIAs of the noscapine branch. The data suggest that phospholipid-dependent signaling pathways contribute to the activation of morphine biosynthesis at the expense of the production of other BIAs in poppy plants. A better understanding of the effectors and the principles of regulation of alkaloid biosynthesis might be the basis for the future genetic modification of opium poppy to optimize BIA production.