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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Dec 16;131(49):17734-5. doi: 10.1021/ja907470n.

IspG converts an epoxide substrate analogue to (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate: implications for IspG catalysis in isoprenoid biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


IspG is an intriguing enzyme in bacteria, parasite, and plant isoprenoid biosynthesis, and its catalytic mechanism remains elusive. We report here the synthesis of (2R,3R)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-2,3-epoxybutanyl diphosphate (Epoxy-HMBPP), a proposed intermediate in one of the frequently cited mechanistic models. We have also demonstrated that this epoxide analogue is a catalytically competent IspG substrate. This study represents the first mechanistic study of this important enzyme.

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