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Letters to Nature
Nature 171, 76 (10 January 1953); doi:10.1038/171076a0

Structure of Coenzyme A


Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, London, S.W.1.
Biochemical Research Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Dept. of Biochemical Chemistry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. Dec. 12.

CHEMICAL1 and enzymic2 studies from these two laboratories suggested that coenzyme A is best represented by formula (I) (cf. ref. 3). While the synthesis of various fragments of the molecule4 has lent considerable support to this structure, the enzymic and chemical evidence did not agree on one point. This concerned the nature of a substance obtained by the action of nucleotide pyrophosphatase on the coenzyme and which stimulated the growth of Acetobacter suboxydans 5. Although not isolated in a chemically pure state, it was thought to be a simple phosphate of pantothenic acid6. None of the synthetic pantothenic acid phosphates showed activity towards this organism ; consequently, it was suggested1 that this ‘Acetobacter-stimulatory factor’ might be pantetheine-4′phosphate (II). An unambiguous synthesis of (II) is described here.

  1. Baddiley, J. , and Thain, E. M. , J. Chem. Soc., 2253 (1951); 3783 (1952).
  2. Gregory, J. D. , Novelli, G. D. , and Lipmann, F. , J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 74, 854 (1952). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
  3. Wang, T. P. , Schuster, L. , and Kaplan, N. O. , J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 74, 3204 (1952). | Article | ISI | ChemPort |
  4. Baddiley, J. , and Thain, E. M. , J. Chem. Soc., 246, 3421 (1951).
  5. King, T. E. , Locher, L. M. , and Cheldelin, V. H. , Arch. Biochem., 17, 483 (1948). | ISI | ChemPort |
  6. Novelli, G. D. , "Phosphorus Metabolism", 1, 414 (Baltimore, 1951).
  7. Levintow, L. , and Novelli, G. D. , abstract of paper presented at the Atlantic City Meeting of the American Chemical Society, p. 33 c (1952).

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