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Hydrodynamic Stress Induces Monoterpenoid Oxindole Alkaloid Accumulation by Uncaria tomentosa (Willd) D. C. Cell Suspension Cultures via Oxidative Burst

Uncaria tomentosa (Willd) D. C. (Rubiaceae) known as cat’s claw is a plant widely used in traditional Peruvian medicine to treat cancer and chemotherapy side effects among a wide range of other diseases (Obrego´n-Vilches, 1995). Research on this matter led to the discovery of pentacyclic monoterpenoid oxindole alkaloids (MOA) with immunomodulatory, cytotoxic, anti-AIDS, and anti-leukemic activities (Laus, 2004; Winkler et al., 2004). The usual source of MOA is U. tomentosa powdered bark obtained from at least 8 years old native plants from the Amazon region (Obrego´n-Vilches, 1995). Since in the rainforest, there are only five specimens/hectare and the chemical synthesis of MOA is too complex, plant cell culture is a biotechnological alternative to produce these highly demanded and valuable compounds (Luna-Palencia et al., 2005; Trejo-Tapia et al., 2005).