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Molecules. 2010 Mar 10;15(3):1531-53. doi: 10.3390/molecules15031531.

Vitamin K2 in electron transport system: are enzymes involved in vitamin K2 biosynthesis promising drug targets?

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 1682 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1682, USA.


Aerobic and anaerobic respiratory systems allow cells to transport the electrons to terminal electron acceptors. The quinone (ubiquinone or menaquinone) pool is central to the electron transport chain. In the majority of gram-positive bacteria, vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is the sole quinone in the electron transport chain, and thus, the bacterial enzymes catalyzing the synthesis of menaquinone are potential targets for the development of novel antibacterial drugs. This manuscript reviews the role of vitamin K in bacteria and humans, and especially emphasizes on recent aspects of menaquinones in bacterial electron transport chain and on discoveries of inhibitor molecules targeting bacterial electron transport systems for new antibacterial agents.

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