Chorismic acid

Chorismic acid
IUPAC name
(3R,4R)-3-[(1-carboxyvinyl)oxy]-4-hydroxycyclohexa-1,5-diene-1-carboxylic acid
617-12-9 YesY
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
ChEBI CHEBI:17333 YesY
ChemSpider 11542 YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.164.204
Molar mass 226.18 g·mol−1
Melting point 140 °C (284 °F; 413 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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Infobox references

Chorismic acid, more commonly known as its anionic form chorismate, is an important biochemical intermediate in plants and microorganisms. It is a precursor for:

The name chorismic acid derives from a classical Greek word, χωρίζω meaning "to separate",[2] because the compound plays a role as a branch-point in aromatic amino acid biosynthesis.[3]


Shikimate → shikimate-3-phosphate → 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (5-O-(1-carboxyvinyl)-3-phosphoshikimate)

Chorismate synthase is an enzyme that catalyzes the final chemical reaction 5-O-(1-carboxyvinyl)-3-phosphoshikimate → chorismate + phosphate.


Chorismate is transformed into para-aminobenzoic acid by the enzymes 4-amino-4-deoxychorismate synthase and 4-amino-4-deoxychorismate lyase.

Chorismate lyase is an enzyme that transforms chorismate into 4-hydroxybenzoate and pyruvate. This enzyme catalyses the first step in ubiquinone biosynthesis in Escherichia coli and other Gram-negative bacteria.


  1. Wildermuth MC, Dewdney J, Wu G, Ausubel FM (2001). "Isochorismate synthase is required to synthesize salicylic acid for plant defence". Nature. 414 (6863): 562–5. doi:10.1038/35107108. PMID 11734859.
  2. Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie. A Greek-English Lexicon. ISBN 0-19-864226-1.
  3. Gibson, F. (1999). "The elusive branch-point compound of aromatic amino acid biosynthesis". Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 24 (1): 36–38. doi:10.1016/S0968-0004(98)01330-9. PMID 10087921.
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