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Pure Appl. Chem., 2007, Vol. 79, No. 4, pp. 739-751

Diversity in isoprene unit biosynthesis: The methylerythritol phosphate pathway in bacteria and plastids

Michel Rohmer

Université Louis Pasteur/CNRS, Institut de Chemie, 4 rue Blaise Pascal, 67070 Strasbourg Cédex, France

Abstract: The long-overlooked methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway represents an alternative to the mevalonate route for the formation of isoprene units. It is found in most bacteria as well as in the plastids of all phototrophic organisms. A selection of significant steps of its discovery and elucidation are presented in this contribution, as well as a complete hypothetical biogenetic scheme for the last reduction step.