Cell-specific localization of alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus stem tissue measured with Imaging MS and Single-cell MS

Kotaro Yamamoto, Katsutoshi Takahashi, Hajime Mizuno, Aya Anegawa, Kimitsune Ishizaki, Hidehiro Fukaki, Miwa Ohnishi, Mami Yamazaki, Tsutomu Masujima, Tetsuro Mimura

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88 Citations (Scopus)


Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don is a medicinal plant well known for producing antitumor drugs such as vinblastine and vincristine, which are classified as terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs). The TIA metabolic pathway in C. roseus has been extensively studied. However, the localization of TIA intermediates at the cellular level has not been demonstrated directly. In the present study, the metabolic pathway of TIA in C. roseus was studied with two forefront metabolomic techniques, that is, Imaging mass spectrometry (MS) and live Single-cell MS, to elucidate cell-specific TIA localization in the stem tissue. Imaging MS indicated that most TIAs localize in the idioblast and laticifer cells, which emit blue fluorescence under UV excitation. Single-cell MS was applied to four different kinds of cells [idioblast (specialized parenchyma cell), laticifer, parenchyma, and epidermal cells] in the stem longitudinal section. Principal component analysis of Imaging MS and Single-cell MS spectra of these cells showed that similar alkaloids accumulate in both idioblast cell and laticifer cell. From MS/MS analysis of Single-cell MS spectra, catharanthine, ajmalicine, and strictosidine were found in both cell types in C. roseus stem tissue, where serpentine was also accumulated. Based on these data, we discuss the significance of TIA synthesis and accumulation in the idioblast and laticifer cells of C. roseus stem tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3891-3896
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 5

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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