Artemisinin is produced by both the mevalonate and non-mevalonate branches of the terpenoid biosynthetic pathway in Artemisia annua hairy rootsPublic
Artemisinin (AN), a sesquiterpene found in the plant Artemisia annua, has been shown to have a potent antimalarial activity capable of killing malaria's infectious agent, Plasmodium falciparum. Artemisinin is produced via cyclization of IPP units produced in the terpenoid biosynthetic pathway by two branches: the mevalonate (MVA) pathway localized in the cytosol, and the non-mevalonate (MEP) pathway localized in the plastid. The regulatory enzymes of MVA and MEP pathway, HMGR and DXR respectively, have been shown to be present in the transformed roots of A. annua. By independent inhibition of HMGR by mevinolin, and DXR by fosmidomycin, artemininin yield was correlated to IPP contribution by one branch or the other. Artemisinin appears to be produced by a cooperative scheme of both the MVA and MEP branches.
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