An Antimetabolic Action of Vitamin K

Article metrics


IN recent studies in vivo and in vitro, we have shown that the K vitamins (K1, K2, phthiocol, menadione and ‘Synkavit’) inhibit the synthesis of nicotinic acid at the stage 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid→quinolinic acid. We suggested that the mechanism of inhibition is competition between vitamin K and 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid, that is, the K vitamins exert antimetabolitic action on the substrate of the reaction catalysed by 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid oxidase. On the basis of this hypothesis, investigations were undertaken to determine if the inhibition of 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid oxidase produced in vivo by administration of menadione or ‘Synkavit’ could be reversed by subsequent administration of 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid. The results of these experiments demonstrated the capacity of 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid to overcome the inhibitory effect of vitamin K.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Quagliariello, E., et al., Boll. Soc. It. Biol. Sperim., 32, 1169, 1573, 1575 (1956); 33 1211, (1957); Giorn. Bioch., 7, 28, 36 (1958); Helv. Pediatr. Acta, 13, 486 (1958); Comm. Fourth Int. Cong. I. Biochem., Vienna, 1958.

  2. 2

    Richert, D. A., J. Biol. Chem., 154, 1 (1944).

  3. 3

    Evans, E., Lancet, i, 1072 (1956).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

QUAGLIARIELLO, E., SACCONE, C., RINALDI, E. et al. An Antimetabolic Action of Vitamin K. Nature 184, 820–821 (1959) doi:10.1038/184820a0

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.