The aetiological agent of tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is responsible for millions of deaths annually. The increasing prevalence of the disease, the emergence of multidrug-resistant strains, and the devastating effect of human immunodeficiency virus co-infection have led to an urgent need for the development of new and more efficient antimycobacterial drugs. Since the shikimate pathway is present and essential in algae, higher plants, bacteria, and fungi, but absent from mammals, the gene products of the common pathway might represent attractive targets for the development of new antimycobacterial agents. In this review we describe studies on shikimate pathway enzymes, including enzyme kinetics and structural data. We have focused on mycobacterial shikimate pathway enzymes as potential targets for the development of new anti-TB agents.
Keywords: 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase, 3-dehydroquinate synthase, 3-dehydroquinate dehydratase, shikimate 5-dehydrogenase, shikimate kinase, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase, chorismate synthase, antimycobacterial drug design
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