IPP and DMAPP are reactive hemiterpene intermediates in the pathways leading to more complex terpenoid structures. They are also used as alky-lating agents in the formation of meroterpenoids as indicated above, but examples of these structures are discussed under the section appropriate to the major substructure, e.g. alkaloids, shiki-mate, acetate. Relatively few true hemiterpenes are produced in nature, with isoprene, a volatile compound which is released by many species of plants, especially trees, being the notable example. Iso-prene is formed by loss of a proton from the allylic cation (Figure 5.7).
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