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Metal ions regulate terpenoid metabolism in insects
Date:2/28/2013

Sequence comparisons cannot replace a thorough biochemical analysis

How the different metal ions modify the product range of the enzyme is still unclear. It is very likely that the varying atomic radii of the metal ions involved in the catalysis effect changes in the spatial structure of the enzyme, which prevent or allow the admission of a third C5 unit and hence result in the production of C10 or C15 molecules.

"Our experiments provide two important findings," says Wilhelm Boland, director at the Max Planck Institute. "First, the directing influence of metal ions on the product formation of isoprenyl diphosphate synthases is a novel "control element" in the regulation of the terpene metabolism which should be included in future experimental settings. And secondly: The diversity of terpenoid molecules cannot be attributed solely to the broad substrate specificity of some enzymes in the last steps of the metabolic pathway, but is in fact already inherent in early biosynthetic steps." Nature continues to provide interesting answers to the question how organisms manage to produce tens of thousands of different secondary metabolites. [JWK/AO]


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Contact: Antje Burse
aburse@ice.mpg.de
49-364-157-1265
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Source:Eurekalert  

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