Xenobiotic metabolism in Australian marsupials
To investigate the dietary effect of eucalyptus terpenes on drug metabolising enzyme CYPs and UGTs in Australian marsupials.
While most animals tend to select food low in potentially toxic chemicals, several Australian marsupials rely on eucalyptus leaves as a major or only food source.
In order to ingest and absorb such large quantities of toxic plant secondary metabolites in these leaves, specialist eucalyptus feeders such as the koala must have evolved highly specialised detoxification mechanism involved several liver enzyme systems.
The findings will contribute to the knowledge of the metabolic capacity of Australian marsupials, especially at the molecular level that is limited at present.
Key methodology: Enzymatic assay, gene cloning (RT-PCR, RACE), immune-blot, cell culture work
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