Coenzyme Chemistry

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Abstract

Cellular metabolism is under enzymatic control and often the enzymes involved need a substance or cofactor in order to express their catalytic activity. In these systems the protein portion of the enzyme is designated the apoenzyme and is usually catalytically inactive. The cofactor is a metal ion or a nonprotein organic substance. Many enzymes even require both cofactors. A firmly bound cofactor is called a prosthetic group. If, however, the organic cofactor is brought into play during the catalytic mechanism, it is referred to as a coenzyme. The complex formed by the addition of the coenzyme to the apoenzyme is referred to as a holoenzyme (or enzyme, for short).