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Adenylation

German: Adenylierung

1 Definition

An adenylation is a biochemical reaction which transfers an AMP molecule to another molecule.

Adenylation should not be confused with polyadenylation which adds the poly(A) tail to strands of mRNA.

2 Biochemistry

An adenylation can result from the reaction of various functional groups. In the process of beta oxidation, for example, an acyl adenylate is formed. In this reaction the carboxyl group of the fatty acid reacts with a phosphate group of the ATP. As a result the AMP molecule and the fatty acid are connected through a mixed anhydride bond.

An adenylation of proteins takes place through the reaction with hydroxyl groups of amino acid side chains, implicating serine, threonine and tyrosine. AMP and amino acids are subsequently connected through a phosphodiester bond.

3 Function

A product of adenylation is pyrophosphate, the subsequent hydrolysis of which provides the amount energy necessary for the reaction. Adenylation creates energy-rich bonds in the resulting molecules so that they can play a role as an activating step for further enzymatic reactions, as is the case in beta-oxidation. The adenylation of proteins is often part of the activation process of enzymes.

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