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Comparatively Speaking: Cofactors vs. Coenzymes
By: Anthony J. O'Lenick, Jr., Siltech LLC
Posted: February 23, 2010
page 2 of 2
Since coenzymes are chemically changed as a consequence of enzyme action, it is useful to consider coenzymes to be a special class of substrates, or second substrates, which are common to many different enzymes.
Coenzymes are usually regenerated and their concentrations are maintained at a steady level inside the cell. For example, NADPH is regenerated through the pentose phosphate pathway and S-adenosylmethionine is regenerated through methionine adenosyltransfera. Coenzymes are involved in the transfer of hydrogen ions and electrons.
1. MWG de Bolster, Glossary of terms used in bioinorganic chemistry: Coenzyme, international union of pure and applied chemistry (1997)
2. Z Fisher et al, Structural and kinetic characterization of active-site histidine as a proton shuttle in catalysis by human carbonic anhydrase II, Biochemistry 44 (4) 1097–115 (2005)
3. AL Wagner, Vitamins and Coenzymes, Krieger Publishing Co. (1975)