New grant to Bak and Kampranis – University of Copenhagen

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05 May 2017

New grant to Bak and Kampranis


New grant to center scientists from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science

Bioactive cucurbitacin triterpenoids

Professor Søren Bak and Ass. Professor Sotirios Kampranis has received a DFF-Research project grant of 5.8 mio DKK. The grant is written with great help of Postdocs Lemeng Dong and Codruta Ignea

Project title: A comprehensive approach to the production of the bioactive cucurbitacin triterpenoids
Abstract: Cucurbitacins are the bitter triterpenoid compounds found in wild squash, watermelon, and cucumber. They have an immense pharmacological potential as anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and immunomodulatory agents, but their use is hampered by their low levels. We will overcome this limitation by developing two parallel complementary approaches to establish the confined and sustainable biotechnological production of cucurbitacins. The proposed research plan combines two production platforms, yeast and hairy-roots, in an integrated manner which combines advantages of both systems to characterize cucurbitacin biosynthesis and produce specific compounds. The yeast platform will enable the combinatorial biosynthesis of cucurbitacins and cucurbitacin-like molecules, while the hairy root platform will mainly provide scale up of cucurbitacins of a defined and known structural composition.
Amount: 5.816.304 DKK