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J Bacteriol. 2014 Feb;196(4):772-9. doi: 10.1128/JB.01087-13. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide ribotide directly inhibits coenzyme A biosynthesis in Salmonella enterica.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA.


Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide (AICAR) is a purine biosynthetic intermediate and a by-product of histidine biosynthesis. In bacteria, yeast, and humans, accumulation of AICAR has been shown to affect an array of cellular processes by both direct and indirect mechanisms. In purine biosynthesis, AICAR is the substrate of the bifunctional protein phosphoribosylaminoimidazolecarboxamide formyltransferase/IMP cyclohydrolase (PurH, EC Strains lacking PurH accumulate AICAR and have a defect in the synthesis of the 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine (HMP) moiety of thiamine. The formation of HMP is also compromised in vivo when coenzyme A (CoA) levels are reduced. Our results show that the in vivo accumulation of AICAR decreased total CoA pools and, further, that AICAR inhibited the activity of pantoate β-alanine ligase in vitro (PanC, EC These results demonstrated a mechanism of AICAR action and provide new insights into the metabolic consequences of disrupting purine metabolism.

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