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Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2004 Feb;5(2):154-62.

Isoprenoid biosynthesis as a novel target for antibacterial and antiparasitic drugs.

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Université Louis Pasteur CNRS, Institut Universitaire de France, Institut Le Bel, 4 rue Blaise Pascal 67070 Strasbourg Cedex, France.


The mevalonate-independent methylerythritol phosphate pathway is a long overlooked metabolic pathway for isoprenoid biosynthesis. It is present in most bacteria, including pathogens and opportunistic pathogens, in some unicellular eukaryotes, including the parasite responsible for malaria, and in the chloroplasts of all phototrophic organisms. It represents an alternative to the mevalonate pathway, which is only present in animals, fungi, the plant cytoplasm, archaebacteria and some eubacteria. This biosynthetic pathway is thus a potential target for antibacterial and antiparasitic drugs. An isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase that differs from the previously known isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase found in all other organisms, including animals, was discovered in several Gram-positive bacteria possessing the mevalonate pathway, adding another target related to isoprenoid biosynthesis.

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