Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents for functionalization and storage of natural products and enzymes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch


Plants are sessile organisms and to counterbalance the inability to escape unfavorable growth conditions, both abiotic and biotic stresses. Accordingly, plants have evolved perfectly orchestrated metabolic solutions for balancing basal metabolism for growth and the synthesis of phytochemicals in response to environmental challenges. Key steps in the biosynthesis of phytochemicals are catalyzed by enzymes of the cytochrome P450 family organized on the cytosolic surface of the endoplasmic reticulum. P450s may be organized in dynamic metabolons facilitating metabolic channeling and avoidance of metabolic cross-talk or release of toxic or labile intermediates. In addition, biosynthesis and storage of phytochemicals are further organized by compartmentalization within the plant cell and offers the necessary plasticity for safe-storage of phytochemicals. Some phytochemicals accumulate at intracellular concentrations above their solubility in water up to molar concentrations. Liquid/liquid phase separation of natural deep eutectic solvents (NADESs) may facilitate the formation of dense biomolecular condensates within the cytoplasm or vacuole providing rapid activation of the stored phytochemicals as a necessity upon pest or herbivore attack. NADES may also provide locale microenvironment around P450 metabolons facilitating metabolic channeling and preservation of the enzymatic integrity and function during heat and drought stress in plants such as Sorghum bicolor. We also demonstrate that droplets of NADES provide a previously unrecognized inert environment inside plant cells for co-storage of two-component defense systems like the “cyanide bomb”, which consists of dhurrin and its activating β-glucosidase (dhurrinase). Upon tissue disruption, e.g. by a chewing insect, dilution of the NADES leads to activation of the dhurrinase and ultimately release of toxic hydrogen cyanide. The NADES droplets thus may function as an alternative to classical membrane-based compartmentalization and constitute a novel membrane-less compartment inside the plant cells underlining the plasticity of plants.
Original languageDanish
Publication date15 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018
Event14th International Symposium on Cytochrome P450 Biodiversity and Biotechnology - York, United Kingdom
Duration: 15 Jun 201819 Jul 2018


Conference14th International Symposium on Cytochrome P450 Biodiversity and Biotechnology
CountryUnited Kingdom

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