Structure and Dynamics of the Isoprenoid Pathway Network


Isoprenoids are functionally and structurally the most diverse group of plant metabolites reported to date. They can function as primary metabolites, participating in essential plant cellular processes, and as secondary metabolites, of which many have substantial commercial, pharmacological, and agricultural value. Isoprenoid end products participate in plants in a wide range of physiological processes acting in them both synergistically, such as chlorophyll and carotenoids during photosynthesis, or antagonistically, such as gibberellic acid and abscisic acid during seed germination. It is therefore expected that fluxes via isoprenoid metabolic network are tightly controlled both temporally and spatially, and that this control occurs at different levels of regulation and in an orchestrated manner over the entire isoprenoid metabolic network. In this review, we summarize our current knowledge of the topology of the plant isoprenoid pathway network and its regulation at the gene expression level following diverse stimuli. We conclude by discussing agronomical and biotechnological applications emerging from the plant isoprenoid metabolism and provide an outlook on future directions in the systems analysis of the plant isoprenoid pathway network.