Researchers Evaluate Cancer Fighting Properties of Rosy Periwinkle Plant

Plant produces compounds that treat cancer, arrhythmia, and other medical problems.

Researchers found how the plant catharanthus roseus is able to produce anticancer compounds, a recent study found.

Catharanthus roseus, or rosy periwinkle, produces anti-tumor compounds called terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs).

When TIAs are being metabolized, various intermediary compounds are created and travel across different cells where they are met and stored inside idioblast or laticifer cells.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, had a team of researchers who used imaging mass spectrometry to analyze cellular distribution of each compound within the tissue.

Prior studies have led researchers to believe that compounds metabolized and stored in the epidermal cells. However, the results of the study showed that large amounts of compounds were actually present in idioblast cells.

This suggests the possibility of an unknown mechanism that dictates the creation, movement, and regulation of organic compounds in the plants. Furthermore, this data can help tighten the details of the metabolic process for valuable compounds and has the potential to help develop new methods for synthesizing organic compounds.