B12-Containing Enzymes

V. Bandarian, R. G. Matthews

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, was isolated from liver extracts over 50 years ago as a red crystalline metabolite that cured pernicious anemia in humans. The X-ray crystal structure of the cofactor and various derivatives subsequently showed that it has an elaborate organometallic structure. Cobalamin is widely distributed in nature and biochemical studies have shown that it facilitates enzymatic transformations that involve methyl group transfer and radical-mediated rearrangements. The biosynthesis of cobalamin, the molecular mechanisms of the transformations that are catalyzed by cobalamin-dependent enzymes, and the inherent chemical flexibility in this organometallic cofactor that permits it to participate in these disparate reactions have fascinated chemists and biochemists for decades. This article highlights the chemical transformations that are catalyzed by cobalamin-dependent enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Biological Chemistry
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780123786319
ISBN (Print)9780123786302
StatePublished - Feb 15 2013


  • B-containing enzymes
  • Carbon skeleton
  • Cobalamin
  • Methionine synthase
  • Methyl transfer
  • Radical
  • Ribonucleotide triphosphate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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