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The Complementary Role Of Coenzymes

Aug 17, 2007
There has to be some logic in it. When the prefix "co" is being added to enzymes, does it indicate that the relation between enzymes and coenzymes is complementary? The coenzymes actually become supportive to the functions of enzymes.

Key support area

The key role played by the coenzyme is of a transporter in the chemical reaction. Coenzymes are minute molecules that actually carry one set of chemical groups required for the reaction to take place from on reactant area of enzymes to another site of enzymatic action.

When does such a requirement arise in the body? Well let's pick up some important chemical groups to understand the functional aspect of coenzymes.

Some of the vitamins like the folic acid and some vitamin B types like thiamine and riboflavin are of utmost importance to the body cells. At times these chemical groups or vitamins are directly given to the body in the form of diet. They are not synthesized by the body cells at that time. But carriers are needed to transport them to the exact location of the system to meet the need. This is where the coenzymes play the effective role. How?

The functional aspect

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+) are required to carry hydride ion from one location of enzymatic reaction area to another. Though these two dinucleotides are mainly cofactors in the body cell but they play the role of coenzymes to transport essential chemical groups in the body.

You are aware of folic acid which is one of the key B vitamins and is better known as a water-soluble vitamin. The folic acid is solely responsible for carrying the formyl and methyl chemical groups in the cells. The acetyl group that has another important role to play in the coordination of chemical reactions is transported by the coenzyme A. S-adenosylmethionine is another coenzyme exclusively responsible for carrying the methyl group.

This gives you the precise idea of how the coenzymes are engaged in transporting or shifting the chemical groups to finally enhance the enzymatic activities within the cells.

Substrate division

Quite interestingly coenzymes are classified as substrates because there can be several enzymes requiring the support of a single coenzyme.

When a coenzyme participates in a chemical reaction, it undergoes a series of change in the ongoing process. Therefore it gets divided into several parts and each enzyme might need a particular part only. You can presume the significance of NADH coenzyme because more than seven hundred enzymes need it in one way or the other.
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Jason Uvios writes about on The complementary role of coenzymes to visit :- enzymes , enzymes digestive and elevated liver enzymes
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