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Nihon Rinsho. 1999 Oct;57(10):2270-5.

[Carnitine as a vitamin-like biofactor].

[Article in Japanese]

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University.


Carnitine is a well-known cofactor for the beta-oxidation of long-chain fatty acid. It also plays a role in transport of acetyl moity for fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, excretion of organic acid and xenobiotic acid as carnitine ester, and control of ratio of acetylCoA to CoA. Therapeutic effect of acetylcarnitine on Alzheimer disease and HIV-infection, and aberrant incorporation acetylcarnitine into brain under chronic fatigue syndrome have been reported. Carnitine deficiency causes hyperammonemia through suppression of gene expression of urea cycle enzymes. On the other hand, a large amount of carnitine has a therapeutic effect on hyperammonemia by still unclear mechanism. These suggest carnitine as a multifunctional biofactor.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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