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Diterpenoid metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Given our interest in labdane-related diterpenoid biosynthesis, we were intrigued by the report that the important human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis encoded a class II diterpene cyclase, particularly with separately reported genetic evidence that this enzyme was involved in the ability of the pathogen to suppress acidification of the phagosome into which the bacterium is enveloped by macrophages.  Building on the additional evidence indicating a similar role for the neighboring gene, we demonstrated that the encoded enzyme will react with the halimadienyl diphosphate p