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Acetyl coenzyme A

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A highly energized compound that is made up of coenzyme A and an acetyl unit


Coenzymes help enzymes carry out their biochemical function. An example of that is coenzyme A. Coenzyme A or CoA is a small organic molecule that is involved in fatty acid metabolism and amino acid metabolism. One of its notable functions is to shuttle the acyl groups. One in particular is acetyl unit. When CoA is attached to an acetyl unit it is referred to as acetyl coenzyme A or acetyl-CoA. The linkage between the acetyl group and the sulfhydryl portion of the β-mercaptoethylamine of coenzyme A is a thioester bond. The thioester bond makes the acetyl-CoA a high energy compound as its hydrolysis releases about -31.5 kJ.

Acetyl-CoA is important in various biochemical reactions. For one, it helps in conveying the carbon atoms in the acetyl group into the Krebs cycle for oxidation and energy production. Acetyl-CoA is produced when carbohydrates are broken down during glycolysis. It is also formed during fatty acid oxidation. Another is its role in the biogenic synthesis of acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine (together with a coenzyme A byproduct) is produced when choline reacts with acetyl-CoA through the catalytic action of choline acetyltransferase.

Abbreviation / Acronym: acetyl-CoA

IUPAC name: S-[2-[3-[[(2R)-4-[[[(2R,3S,4R,5R)-5-(6-aminopurin-9-yl)-4-hydroxy-3-phosphonooxyoxolan-2-yl]methoxy-hydroxyphosphoryl]oxy-hydroxyphosphoryl]oxy-2-hydroxy-3,3-dimethylbutanoyl]amino]propanoylamino]ethyl] ethanethioate

Chemical formula: C23H38N7O17P3S

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