The non-mevalonate pathway or 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate/1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate pathway (MEP/DOXP pathway) of isoprenoid biosynthesis is an alternative metabolic pathway leading to the formation of isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP) that has been elucidated only recently.
Diversity of isoprenoid biosynthesis
The classical mevalonate pathway or HMG-CoA reductase pathway is an important cellular metabolic pathway present in all higher eukaryotes and many bacteria. It is important for the production of IPP and DMAPP that serve as the basis for the biosynthesis of molecules used in processes as diverse as protein prenylation, cell membrane maintenance, hormones, protein anchoring and N-glycosylation.
In contrast to the classical mevalonate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis, plants and apicomplexan protozoa such as malaria parasites have the ability to produce their isoprenoids (terpenoids) using an alternative pathway, the non-mevalonate pathway, which takes place in their plastids. In addition, most eubacteria including important pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis synthesize IPP and DMAPP via the non-mevalonate pathway.
The subsequent three reaction steps catalyzed by 4-diphosphocytidyl-2-C-methyl-D-erythritol synthase (YgbP, IspD), 4-diphosphocytidyl-2-C-methyl-D-erythritol kinase (YchB, IspE), and 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 2,4-cyclodiphosphate synthase (YgbB, IspF) mediate the formation of 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 2,4-cyclopyrophosphate (MEcPP).
T cell activation
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