Tetrapyrroles pp 286-299 | Cite as

Vitamin B12: Biosynthesis of the Corrin Ring

  • Ross M. Graham
  • Evelyne Deery
  • Martin J. WarrenEmail author
Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)


Vitamin B12 is a cobalt-containing modified tetrapyrrole, whose structural complexity and beguiling chemistry has fascinated scientists for over 80 years. As with all modified tetrapyrroles, its structure is derived from uroporphyrinogen III. This transformation requires a large number of enzyme-mediated steps that result in peripheral methylation, cobalt chelation, ring contraction, decarboxylation, amidation and adenosylation. There are two related though genetically distinct routes for cobalamin biosynthesis, which are referred to as the aerobic and anaerobic pathways. In this chapter the biosynthesis of the corrin ring component of vitamin B12 along these two routes is described.


Anaerobic Pathway Ring Contraction Aerobic Pathway Corrin Ring Cobalamin Biosynthesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ross M. Graham
    • 1
  • Evelyne Deery
    • 2
  • Martin J. Warren
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Medicine and PharmacologyUniversity of Western Australia Fremantle HospitalFremantleAustralia
  2. 2.Protein Science Group, Department of BioscienceUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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