Analgesia: morphine-pathway
block in top1 poppies

Millgate AG, Pogson BJ, Wilson IW, Kutchan TM,
Zenk MH, Gerlach WL, Fist AJ, Larkin PJ.
CSIRO Plant Industry,
Black Mountain, Canberra,
ACT 2601, Australia.
Nature. 2004 Sep 23;431(7007):413-4


The opium poppy is a source of the pharmaceuticals codeine, morphine and their derived analgesics. Here we describe the initial characterization of the poppy mutant known as top1 (for 'thebaine oripavine poppy 1'), which accumulates the morphine and codeine precursors thebaine and oripavine and does not complete their biosynthesis into morphine and codeine. The original discovery of top1 stimulated a re-engineering of the opioid industry in the island state of Tasmania, which grows over 40% of the world's licit opiates, in order to produce thebaine and oripavine efficiently from morphine-free poppy crops to provide precursors for highly effective analgesics and for treatment of opioid addiction.
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