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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2004 Jun;64(5):618-24. Epub 2004 Mar 19.

Compactin-a review.

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Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, Hauz Khas, 110016, New Delhi, India.


Compactin, a hypocholesterolemic molecule, is a competitive inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase, which is a regulatory enzyme for cholesterol biosynthesis. The structural similarity and high affinity of the acid form of compactin and HMG, the natural substrate of enzyme, results in specific and effective inhibition of this enzyme. Inhibition results in reduced levels of mevalonic acid in the body, leading to pleiotropic effects. Various fungi have been used for the commercial production of compactin. Using different strategies for improving production levels, yields have been increased to around 900 times of the amount originally produced. Recently, the gene sequence responsible for compactin production has been cloned and sequenced. This review deals with the chemistry, mode of action, pharmacology, biosynthesis, and production of compactin. A comparative study of various reports dealing with the production of compactin is also included.

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