The shikimate pathway and its branches in apicomplexan parasites

Craig W. Roberts, Fiona Roberts, Russell E. Lyons, Michael J. Kirisits, Ernest J. Mui, John Finnerty, Jennifer J. Johnson, David J P Ferguson, John R. Coggins, Tino Krell, Graham H. Coombs, Wilbur K. Milhous, Dennis E. Kyle, Saul Tzipori, John Barnwell, John B. Dame, Jane Carlton, Rima McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S25-S36
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Feb 15 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'The shikimate pathway and its branches in apicomplexan parasites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this