Current progress on the mechanism and substrate recognition by sterol methyl transferase (SMT), the role of mechanism-based inactivators, other inhibitors of SMT action to probe catalysis and phytosterol synthesis is reported. SMT is a membrane-bound enzyme which catalyzes the coupled C-methylation-deprotonation reaction of sterol acceptor molecules generating the 24-alkyl sterol side chains of fungal ergosterol and plant sitosterol. This C-methylation step can be rate-limiting in the post-lanosterol (fungal) or post-cycloartenol (plant) pathways. A series of sterol analogs designed to impair SMT activity irreversibly have provided deep insight into the C-methylation reaction and topography of the SMT active site and as reviewed provide leads for the development of antifungal agents.
- Sterol biosynthesis inhibitors