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Pyridoxal Phosphate

Pyridoxal phosphate is a coenzyme that is concerned with amino acid metabolism. It is derived from vitamin B6 which occurs in three types of compounds, namely pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine.
These are all pyridine derivatives which are widely distributed in animal and plant kingdoms. The importance of pyridoxal and other derivatives can be illustrated by the fact that rats deficient in vitamin B6 suffered from dermatitis  and defects in protein metabolism. The vitamin was isolated and characterized in 1936 by Birch and Gyory.

vitamin B6 group pyridoxal and pyirdoxal and pyridoxamine

Biochemical function : The biochemical active form of pyridoxal is pyridoxal phosphate. Pyridoxine and pyridoxamine also occur as phosphate derivatives present as the coenzymes form.

pyridoxal phosphate

Pyridoxal phosphate –dependent enzymes catalyze a variety of reaction in amino acid metabolism, such as transamination, decarboxylation reaction involve a donor and an acceptor keto acid.

Transamination :




Racemization   optically active amino acids, such as alanine   and glutamic acid, undergo racemization by respective racemases.

alanine racemase

non covalently bound as a schiffs base

In all the above mentioned reaction, pyridoxal phosphate functions as the coenzyme, non-covalently bound as a schiff’s base to the lysine residue of the enzyme. The Schiff’s base is a common intermediate which arises from the amino acid and pyridoxal phosphate.

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