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Biochem Soc Trans. 2000 Dec;28(6):785-9.

Non-mevalonate isoprenoid biosynthesis: enzymes, genes and inhibitors.

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Botanical Institute II, University of Karlsruhe, Kaiserstr. 12, D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.


The essential steps of the novel non-mevalonate pathway of isopentenyl diphosphate and isoprenoid biosynthesis in plants are described. The first five enzymes and genes of this 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate/2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (DOXP/MEP) pathway are known. The herbicide fosmidomycin specifically blocks the second enzyme, the DOXP reductoisomerase. The DOXP/MEP pathway is also present in several pathogenic bacteria and the malaria parasite. Hence, all herbicides and inhibitors blocking this novel isoprenoid pathway in plants are also potential drugs against malaria and diseases caused by pathogenic bacteria.

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