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FEBS Lett. 2001 Dec 7;509(2):317-22.

Identification of (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate as a major activator for human gammadelta T cells in Escherichia coli.

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Jomaa Pharmaka GmbH, Frankfurter Strasse 50, 35392 Giessen, Germany.


The gcpE and lytB gene products control the terminal steps of isoprenoid biosynthesis via the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate pathway in Escherichia coli. In lytB-deficient mutants, a highly immunogenic compound accumulates significantly, compared to wild-type E. coli, but is apparently absent in gcpE-deficient mutants. Here, this compound was purified from E. coli DeltalytB mutants by preparative anion exchange chromatography, and identified by mass spectrometry, (1)H, (13)C and (31)P NMR spectroscopy, and NOESY analysis as (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate (HMB-PP). HMB-PP is 10(4) times more potent in activating human Vgamma9/Vdelta2 T cells than isopentenyl pyrophosphate.

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