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J Nutr. 1999 Feb;129(2):325-7.

Update on interconversions of vitamin B-6 with its coenzyme.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Rollins Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322-3050, USA.


Biosynthesis of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) depends upon the relatively specific action of two consecutive enzymes, viz. pyridoxal (pyridoxine, pyridoxamine) kinase and pyridoxine (pyridoxamine) phosphate oxidase. Less specific phosphatases catalyze hydrolyses of the 5'-phosphates of the vitamers pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxine. From the recognition a generation ago of these processes by which the three forms of vitamin B-6 and their 5'-phosphates are interconverted, more recent studies have provided a fairly sophisticated understanding of the molecular characteristics of the enzymes involved. The evolutionary retention of homologous portions of pyridoxal kinase in humans as well as bacteria and the most recent finding of a highly conserved region of the pyridoxine (pyridoxamine) phosphate oxidase, also from both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms, emphasize the importance of these catalysts in the formation of a coenzyme that is essential for most organisms. Both kinase and oxidase involved in B-6 metabolism are potential targets for pharmacologic agents.

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