Cocaine Pathway Map

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This pathway was contributed by Laranda Collins and Jeffrey P. Osborne, Manchester College.

Cocaine is an addictive, tropane alkaloid from the plant Erythroxylon coca. In addition, cocaine is a topical anesthetic, potent central nervous system stimulant, adrenergic blocking agent, and abused drug (Kutchan, 1995). Annual production of cocaine is on the order of 800 metric tons (U.S. NDIC, 2006).

In bacteria, cocaine breakdown is initiated by cocaine esterase, which creates ecgonine methyl ester and benzoate. Ecgonine methyl esterase cleaves ecgonine methyl ester into ecgonine and methanol. The ecgonine is then transformed to pseudoecgonine by pseudoecgonine epimerase. Pseudoecgonyl-CoA synthase adds coenzyme A to pseudoecgonine to make pseudoecgonyl-CoA, which is subsequently metabolized to CO2, possibly in a manner similar to tropine in the atropine pathway (Lister et al., 1996).

The following is a text-format cocaine pathway map. Organisms that can initiate the pathway are given, but other organisms may also carry out later steps. Follow the links for more information on compounds or reactions. This map is also available in graphic (8k) format.

           Cocaine
 Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
     Rhodococcus sp. MB1
    Delftia acidovorans MBLF
              |
              |
              | cocaine esterase
              |
              |
              v
     Ecognine methyl ester  +  Benzoate --------------------> to the Benzoate Pathway
  Pseudomonas fluorescens MBER 
              |
              |
              |
              | ecgonine methyl ester esterase
              |
              |
              v
           Ecgonine  +  Methanol --------------------> to the C1 Metabolic Pathway
              |
              |
              |
              | ecgonine epimerase
              |
              |
              v
        Pseudoecgonine
              |
              |
              |
              | pseudoecgonyl-CoA synthetase
              |
              |
              v
       Pseudoecgonyl-CoA
              |
              |
              v
              |
              | A
              |
              v
             CO2


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Page Author(s): Jeffrey P. Osborne, Manchester College

July 11, 2017 Contact Us

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