Structures, mechanisms and inhibitors of undecaprenyl diphosphate synthase: a cis-prenyltransferase for bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis

Bioorg Chem. 2012 Aug;43:51-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2011.09.004. Epub 2011 Sep 21.


Isoprenoids are an intensive group of compounds made from isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP), catalyzed by prenyltransferases such as farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) cyclases, squalene synthase, protein farnesyltransferases and geranylgeranyltransferases, aromatic prenyltransferases as well as a group of prenyltransferases (cis- and trans-types) catalyzing consecutive condensation reactions of FPP with specific numbers of IPP to generate linear products with designate chain lengths. These prenyltransferases play significant biological functions and some of them are drug targets. In this review, structures, mechanisms, and inhibitors of a cis-prenyltransferase, undecaprenyl diphosphate synthase (UPPS) that mediates bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis, are summarized for comparison with the most related trans-prenyltransferases and other prenyltransferases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / metabolism*
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Hemiterpenes / metabolism
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / metabolism
  • Peptidoglycan / biosynthesis*
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sesquiterpenes / metabolism
  • Terpenes / chemistry
  • Terpenes / metabolism
  • Transferases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transferases / metabolism*


  • Hemiterpenes
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Polyisoprenyl Phosphates
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Terpenes
  • isopentenyl pyrophosphate
  • farnesyl pyrophosphate
  • Transferases
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • cis-prenyl transferase
  • undecaprenyl pyrophosphate synthetase