The shikimate pathway and its branches in apicomplexan parasites.
Roberts CW., Roberts F., Lyons RE., Kirisits MJ., Mui EJ., Finnerty J., Johnson JJ., Ferguson DJP., Coggins JR., Krell T., Coombs GH., Milhous WK., Kyle DE., Tzipori S., Barnwell J., Dame JB., Carlton J., McLeod R.
The shikimate pathway is essential for production of a plethora of aromatic compounds in plants, bacteria, and fungi. Seven enzymes of the shikimate pathway catalyze sequential conversion of erythrose 4-phosphate and phosphoenol pyruvate to chorismate. Chorismate is then used as a substrate for other pathways that culminate in production of folates, ubiquinone, napthoquinones, and the aromatic amino acids tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. The shikimate pathway is absent from animals and present in the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium falciparum, and Cryptosporidium parvum. Inhibition of the pathway by glyphosate is effective in controlling growth of these parasites. These findings emphasize the potential benefits of developing additional effective inhibitors of the shikimate pathway. Such inhibitors may function as broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents that are effective against bacterial and fungal pathogens and apicomplexan parasites.