Interrelations between Essential Metal Ions and Human Diseases

Volume 13 of the series Metal Ions in Life Sciences pp 295-320


Cobalt: Its Role in Health and Disease

  • Kazuhiro YamadaAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Email author 

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The primarily function of cobalt in humans is based on its role in cobalamin (Cbl, vitamin B12). Therefore, this chapter will focus on the physiological roles of Cbl and the importance of cobalt in human health. Cbl acts as the cofactor for two enzymes, i.e., methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase, in humans. Both enzymes are important for health. In addition, unlike other water-soluble vitamins, there is a unique absorption, delivery, and activation system for Cbl in mammals. Therefore, this chapter will also review the literature on the Cbl transporting system, which is crucial for Cbl function.


cobalamin methionine synthase methylmalonyl-CoA mutase vitamin B12