Amino-4-imidazolecarboxamide ribotide directly inhibits coenzyme A biosynthesis in Salmonella enterica

J Bacteriol. 2014 Feb;196(4):772-9. doi: 10.1128/JB.01087-13. Epub 2013 Dec 2.


Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide (AICAR) is a purine biosynthetic intermediate and a by-product of histidine biosynthesis. In bacteria, yeast, and humans, accumulation of AICAR has been shown to affect an array of cellular processes by both direct and indirect mechanisms. In purine biosynthesis, AICAR is the substrate of the bifunctional protein phosphoribosylaminoimidazolecarboxamide formyltransferase/IMP cyclohydrolase (PurH, EC Strains lacking PurH accumulate AICAR and have a defect in the synthesis of the 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine (HMP) moiety of thiamine. The formation of HMP is also compromised in vivo when coenzyme A (CoA) levels are reduced. Our results show that the in vivo accumulation of AICAR decreased total CoA pools and, further, that AICAR inhibited the activity of pantoate β-alanine ligase in vitro (PanC, EC These results demonstrated a mechanism of AICAR action and provide new insights into the metabolic consequences of disrupting purine metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aminoimidazole Carboxamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • Aminoimidazole Carboxamide / metabolism
  • Coenzyme A / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Coenzyme A / biosynthesis*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism*
  • Peptide Synthases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ribonucleotides / metabolism*
  • Salmonella enterica / drug effects*
  • Salmonella enterica / metabolism*


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Ribonucleotides
  • Aminoimidazole Carboxamide
  • Peptide Synthases
  • pantothenate synthetase
  • AICA ribonucleotide
  • Coenzyme A