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Acetyl-CoA

Synonyms: acetyl coenzyme A
German: Acetyl-Coenzym A, Acetyl-CoA

1 Definition

Acetyl-CoA is the acylated form of coenzyme A. It contains an activated acetic acid group (CH3CO- = acetyl group).

2 Biochemistry

Chemically, acetyl-CoA is a thioester located between acetic acid and the thiol group (-SH) of the beta-mercapto-ethyleneamine part of coenzyme A. This thioester bond is very energy-rich, resulting in a strongly negative free enthalpy value during hydrolysis.

In many reactions, coenzyme A transfers acetyl groups, just like adenosine triphosphate (ATP) transfers phosphate groups.

Acetyl-CoA is created in the intermediate metabolism through two pathways:

As one of the central reaction steps of the intermediary metabolism, the eponymous metabolite citric acid is created in the first step of the citric acid cycle by the transfer of one acetyl group to oxaloacetic acid by acetyl-CoA. In addition to that, acetyl-CoA plays an important role in the preliminary steps of many biosyntheses (e.g. fatty acids, steroids, terpenes, acetogenins).

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