Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Juli Peretó
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1039-2


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (oxidized form: NAD+; reduced form: NADH) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (oxidized form: NADP+; reduced form: NADPH) are two universal coenzymes functioning as hydride (H) carriers at a standard reduction potential of −320 mV. The pair NAD+/NADH essentially works in oxidation reactions in catabolism (like synthesis of aldehyde and ketone functions from alcohols, or organic acids from aldehydes). On the contrary, the pair NADP+/NADPH serves as a reducing agent during anabolic processes (for example, in formation of saturated C-C bonds from double bonds). In addition to its role as an electron carrier, NAD+ also acts as an ADP-ribosyl donor.


The coenzyme NAD+ was formerly known as diphosphopyridine nucleotide (DPN) and NADP+ as triphosphopyridine nucleotide (TPN).

See Also


Double Bond Organic Acid Bioorganic Chemistry Oxidation Reaction Reduction Potential 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia EvolutivaUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain