Inhibition of caffeine biosynthesis in tea (Camellia sinensis) and coffee (Coffea arabica) plants by ribavirin

  • Keya C
  • Crozier A
  • Ashihara H
  • 28


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 16


    Citations of this article.


The effects of ribavirin, an inhibitor of inosine-5′-monophosphate (IMP) dehydrogenase, on [8-14C]inosine metabolism in tea leaves, coffee leaves and coffee fruits were investigated. Incorporation of radioactivity from [8-14C]inosine into purine alkaloids, such as theobromine and caffeine, guanine residues of RNA, and CO2was reduced by ribavirin, while incorporation into nucleotides, including IMP and adenine residues of RNA, was increased. The results indicate that inhibition of IMP dehydrogenase by ribavirin inhibits both caffeine and guanine nucleotide biosynthesis in caffeine-forming plants. The use of IMP dehydrogenase-deficient plants as a potential source of good quality caffeine-deficient tea and coffee plants is discussed. © 2003 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Caffeine
  • Coffee
  • Inosine
  • Purine alkaloid
  • Ribavirin

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • Chaman Ara Keya

  • Alan Crozier

  • Hiroshi Ashihara

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free