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Enzymes that contain vitamin B6 – pyridoxal-5' phosphate (PLP) – as a cofactor are of great relevance to biology and medicine. B6-dependent enzymes belong to a small number of evolutionary lineages, but encompass more than 140 distinct catalytic functions, thus representing a remarkable example of divergent evolution.

 
Description

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble compound that was discoverd in 1930s during nutrition studies on rats. The vitamin was named pyridoxine to indicate its structural homology to pyridine. Later it was shown that vitamin B6 could exist in two other, slightly different, chemical forms, termed pyridoxal and pyridoxamine: all three forms of vitamin B6 are precursor of an activated compound known as pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), which plays a vital role as the cofactor of a large number of essential enzymes in the human body.

 
last changed 2008/07/01 14:52

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