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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Jul;71(3):265-75. Epub 2006 Apr 11.

Riboflavin analogs and inhibitors of riboflavin biosynthesis.

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  • 1Institute for Technical Microbiology, Mannheim University of Applied Sciences, Germany.


Flavins are active components of many enzymes. In most cases, riboflavin (vitamin B(2)) as a coenzyme represents the catalytic part of the holoenzyme. Riboflavin is an amphiphatic molecule and allows a large variety of different interactions with the enzyme itself and also with the substrate. A great number of active riboflavin analogs can readily be synthesized by chemical methods and, thus, a large number of possible inhibitors for many different enzyme targets is conceivable. As mammalian and especially human biochemistry depends on flavins as well, the target of the inhibiting flavin analog has to be carefully selected to avoid unwanted effects. In addition to flavoproteins, enzymes, which are involved in the biosynthesis of flavins, are possible targets for anti-infectives. Only a few flavin analogs or inhibitors of flavin biosynthesis have been subjected to detailed studies to evaluate their biological activity. Nevertheless, flavin analogs certainly have the potential to serve as basic structures for the development of novel anti-infectives and it is possible that, in the future, the urgent need for new molecules to fight multiresistant microorganisms will be met.

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