Block of the mevalonate pathway triggers oxidative and inflammatory molecular mechanisms modulated by exogenous isoprenoid compounds

Paola Maura Tricarico, Giulio Kleiner, Erica Valencic, Giuseppina Campisciano, Martina Girardelli, Sergio Crovella, Alessandra Knowles, Annalisa Marcuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deregulation of the mevalonate pathway is known to be involved in a number of diseases that exhibit a systemic inflammatory phenotype and often neurological involvements, as seen in patients suffering from a rare disease called mevalonate kinase deficiency (MKD). One of the molecular mechanisms underlying this pathology could depend on the shortage of isoprenoid compounds and the subsequent mitochondrial damage, leading to oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokines' release. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that cellular death results from the balance between apoptosis and pyroptosis, both driven by mitochondrial damage and the molecular platform inflammasome. In order to rescue the deregulated pathway and decrease inflammatory markers, exogenous isoprenoid compounds were administered to a biochemical model of MKD obtained treating a murine monocytic cell line with a compound able to block the mevalonate pathway, plus an inflammatory stimulus. Our results show that isoprenoids acted in different ways, mainly increasing the expression of the evaluated markers [apoptosis, mitochondrial dysfunction, nucleotide-binding oligomerization-domain protein-like receptors 3 (NALP3), cytokines and nitric oxide (NO)]. Our findings confirm the hypothesis that inflammation is triggered, at least partially, by the shortage of isoprenoids. Moreover, although further studies are necessary, the achieved results suggest a possible role for exogenous isoprenoids in the treatment of MKD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6843-6856
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 22 2014


  • Inflammation
  • Isoprenoids
  • Lycopene
  • Mevalonate
  • Phytol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medicine(all)


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