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Is there a way to determine whether an aromatic compound originates from the polyketide or shikimate pathway by looking at its structure? If so, how?

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    $\begingroup$ I've modified your question. They are pathways not ways. $\endgroup$ – David Aug 16 '16 at 21:42
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Aromatics that stem from the Shikimat Pathway result in a structure like this

enter image description here

Whilst aromatics originating from the Polyketide Pathway have an alternativ structure in the distribution of the OH groups.

enter image description here

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If both pathways produce the same molecule, you can't tell: It's the same molecule.

You could knock out some enzymes on either side and see which ones affect output. Or you could spike the cells with a radiolabeled precursor of only one pathway, and then see if the output is also labeled.

However, you say "by looking at its structure", so I'm assuming no additional experiment can be done - then no, except for the trivial case where only one of the pathways produces the molecule (in which case it obviously came from that one).

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    $\begingroup$ It's no real world scenario. To clarify, let's say you have an arbitrary aromatic, look at its Fisher Projection for example. Is there a way to deduct from that the origin? Are there some unique properties that originate from the pathway that was used for synthesis. I remember something like that from our lecture. Maybe I'm able to find out what exactly the lecturer meant with that. $\endgroup$ – idkfa Aug 17 '16 at 8:42

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