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Coenzyme A

Synonyms: CoA, CoA-SH, CoASH, HSCoA
German: Coenzym A

1 Definition

Coenzyme A is a key molecule of cell metabolism which takes part in various enzymatic reactions in the cell and is especially crucial to fatty acid metabolism.

2 Chemical structure

Coenzyme A is a nucleotide-like chemical compound. In the molecule, adenine is connected to the C-atom of D-Ribose through a beta glycosidic bond. The D-Ribose part is connected in position 4 to a pyrophosphate group which in turn is esterified to the peptide-like pantothenyl beta-amino ethanethiol group. Pantothenic acid is a vitamin of the B-complex.

3 Functions

The function of coenzyme A is to transfer acetyl and other acyl groups of fatty acids. For this, they are esterified with the thiol group of the coenzyme.

Thus, coenzyme A is involved in the breakdown and - with reservations - the formation of fatty acids.

In addition to that, the linking of fatty acid esters to other compounds (e.g. during triglyceride synthesis) is also achieved with coenzyme A, after a preceding activation of the fatty acid.

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