PANTOTHENIC ACID: AN OVERVIEW FOCUSED ON MEDICAL ASPECTS

Antonio Sampedro, Javier Rodriguez-Granger, Julian Ceballos, Luis Aliaga

Abstract


Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. It is of biologic importance because of its incorporation into coenzyme A and acyl carrier protein. Coenzyme A is an indispensable cofactor in all living organisms, where it functions in over 70 enzymatic pathways. Most bacteria, plants, and fungi synthesizes pantothenic acid; thus, the vitamin is found virtually everywhere in nature. Therefore, a naturally occurring vitamin deficiency in humans does not occur. Several clinical trials have been undertaken in humans using pantothenic acid supplementation in various medical fields. Unfortunately, firm conclusions regarding therapeutic effectiveness cannot be drawn from many of these studies. However, it has been suggested that there is a beneficial effect of pantethine on hyperlipidemia. Cysteamine treatment, a metabolite of the degradation of coenzyme A, has dramatically changed the course of the cystinosis; and clinical trials of this compound are underway in other medical fields. In the last few decades, several studies have pointed out the great interest of the inhibition of the coenzyme A metabolic pathway as an attractive target in developing new antimicrobial agents. Furthermore, recent research on coenzyme A metabolic enzymes has led to the discovery of uniquely nonmetabolic roles for both enzymes and their metabolites, thus opening an exciting field of investigation. In the present mini-review, we describe the current understanding of the pantothenic acid medical aspects and provide an overview on future potential therapeutic indications for this vitamin and its metabolic byproducts.

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European Scientific Journal (ESJ)

 

ISSN: 1857 - 7881 (Print)
ISSN: 1857 - 7431 (Online)

 

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