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Isoprenoids are a diverse family of compounds derived from the five-carbon precursors isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). Present in all domains of life, isoprenoids are essential for cell survival and participate in a variety of biological functions. Given that isoprenoids play a critical role in bacterial physiology and are utilized for cell wall biogenesis, membrane stability, protein synthesis, respiratory energy generation, and virulence, isoprenoid biosynthesis has been considered an attractive target for antibacterial drug discovery. Bacteria use one of two non-homologous pathways to produce IPP and DMAPP, the mevalonate pathway and the methylerythritol 4-phosphate pathway. As such, there are a multitude of essential enzymes that represent promising drug targets. Herein, the biochemical and cellular activities of antibacterial leads targeting isoprenoid biosynthesis are discussed.

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