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FEBS Lett. 1990 Feb 12;261(1):106-8.

Allicin, a naturally occurring antibiotic from garlic, specifically inhibits acetyl-CoA synthetase.

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  • 1Botanisches Institut der Universit√§t Karlsruhe, FRG.


Allicin is shown to be a specific inhibitor of the acetyl-CoA synthetases from plants, yeast and mammals. The bacterial acetyl-CoA-forming system, consisting of acetate kinase and phosphotransacetylase, was inhibited too. Non-specific interaction with sulfhydryl-groups could be excluded in experiments with dithioerythritol and p-hydroxymercuribenzoate. Binding of allicin to the enzyme is non-covalent and reversible. [14C]-Acetate incorporation into fatty acids of isolated plastids was inhibited by allicin with an I50-value lower than 10 microM. Other enzymes of the fatty acid synthesis sequence were not affected, as was shown using precursors other than acetate.

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