20 Examples of Coenzymes


The coenzymes or cosubstrates They are a small type of organic molecule, non-protein in nature, whose function in the body is to transport specific chemical groups between various enzymes, without being part of their structure. For example: coenzyme A, vitamin K, lipoic acid.

It’s about a activation method that consumes the coenzymes, which are continuously recycled by the metabolism, allowing the perpetuation of the cycle and the exchange of chemical groups with a minimum of chemical and energetic investment.

There is a very wide variety of coenzymes, some of which are common to all forms of life. Many of them are vitamins or come from them.

examples of coenzymes

  1. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH and NAD+). A participant in redox reactions, this coenzyme is found in all living cells, either as NAD+ (created from scratch from tryptophan or aspartic acid), an oxidant and electron acceptor; or as NADH (oxidation reaction product), reducing agent and electron donor.
  2. Coenzyme A (CoA). Responsible for transferring acyl groups necessary for various metabolic cycles (such as the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids), it is a free coenzyme derived from vitamin B5. Meat, mushrooms and egg yolk are foods rich in this vitamin.
  3. Tetrahydrofolic acid (Coenzyme F). Known as coenzyme F or FH4 and derivative of folic acid (Vitamin B9), is particularly important in the amino acid synthesis cycle and especially purine, through the transmission of methyl, formyl, methylene and formimino groups. A deficiency of this coenzyme causes anemia.
  4. vitamin k. Linked to the blood coagulation factor, it serves as an activator of different plasmatic proteins and osteocalcins. It is obtained in three forms: Vitamin Kone, abundant in any diet and of plant origin; vitamin ktwo of bacterial origin and Vitamin K3 of synthetic origin.
  5. Cofactor F420. Derived from flavin and involved in the transport of electrons in detox reactions (oxidoreduction), it is vital for numerous processes of methanogenesis, sulfitoreduction and oxygen detoxification.
  6. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This molecule is used by all living beings to feed energy to their chemical reactions and is used in the synthesis of cellular RNA. It is the main energy transfer molecule from one cell to another.
  7. S-adenosyl methionine (SAM). Involved in the transfer of methyl groups, it was discovered for the first time in 1952. It is made up of ATP and methionine, and is used as an adjuvant in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. In the body it is produced and consumed by liver cells.
  8. Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). Also called sapropterin or BH4, is an essential coenzyme for the synthesis of nitric oxide and aromatic amino acid hydroxylases. Its deficiency is linked to the loss of neurotransmitters such as dopamine or serotonin.
  9. Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone). It is also known as ubidecarenone or coenzyme Q, and is common to almost all existing mitochondrial cells. It is vital for aerobic cellular respiration, generating 95% of the human body’s energy as ATP. It is considered an antioxidant and is recommended as a dietary supplement, since in old age this coenzyme stops being synthesized.
  10. Glutathione (GSH). This tripeptide is an antioxidant and cell protector from free radicals and other toxins. It is essentially synthesized in the liver, but any human cell is capable of manufacturing it from other amino acids, such as glycine. It is considered a valuable ally in the fight against diabetes, various carcinogenic processes and neurological diseases.
  11. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It is a sugar acid that acts as a powerful antioxidant and whose name comes from the disease that causes its deficiency, called scurvy. The synthesis of this coenzyme is expensive and difficult, so its intake is necessary through the diet.
  12. Vitamin Bone (thiamin). Molecule soluble in water and insoluble in alcohol, necessary in the diet of almost all vertebrates and many microorganisms, for the metabolism of carbohydrates. Its deficiency in the human body leads to the diseases of beriberi and Korsakoff syndrome.
  13. biocytin. Indispensable in the transfer of carbon dioxide, it occurs naturally in blood serum and urine. It is used in scientific research as a dye for nerve cells.
  14. Vitamin Btwo (riboflavin). This yellowish pigment is key in the nutrition of animals, since it is required by all flavoproteins and energy metabolism, lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids. It can be obtained naturally from milk, rice or green vegetables.
  15. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Water-soluble coenzyme eliminated through the urine, so it must be replaced through the diet: wheat germ, cereals, eggs, fish and legumes, among other foods. It intervenes in the metabolism of neurotransmitters and has a prominent role in the energy circuit.
  16. lipoic acid. Derived from octanoic fatty acid, it is involved in the utilization of glucose and in the activation of many antioxidants. It is of plant origin.
  17. Vitamin H (biotin). Also known as Vitamin B7 or B8, it is essential for the degradation of certain fats and amino acids, and synthesized by numerous intestinal bacteria.
  18. Coenzyme B. It is vital in the redox reactions typical of the generation of methane by microbial life.
  19. Cytidine triphosphate. Key in the metabolism of living beings, it is a high-energy molecule, similar to ATP. It is essential for the synthesis of DNA and RNA.
  20. Nucleotide sugars. Monosaccharide sugar donors, they are vital in the constitution of nucleic acids such as DNA or RNA, through esterification processes.