Isoprenoids are a class of natural products with more than 55,000 members. All isoprenoids are constructed from two precursors, isopentenyl diphosphate and its isomer dimethylallyl diphosphate. Two of the most important discoveries in isoprenoid biosynthetic studies in recent years are the elucidation of a second isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway [the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway] and a modified mevalonic acid (MVA) pathway. In this review, we summarize mechanistic insights on the MEP pathway enzymes. Because many isoprenoids have important biological activities, the need to produce them in sufficient quantities for downstream research efforts or commercial application is apparent. Recent advances in both MVA and MEP pathway–based synthetic biology are also illustrated by reviewing the landmark work of artemisinic acid and taxadien-5α-ol production through microbial fermentations.

[Erratum, Closure]

An erratum has been published for this article:
Methylerythritol Phosphate Pathway of Isoprenoid Biosynthesis

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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