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10.6: Pantothenic Acid

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    Pantothenic acid has two roles in the body:

    1. It is part of coenzyme A (\(\ce{CoA}\)), this is its major role
    2. It is part of acyl carrier protein

    Coenzyme A

    The structure of pantothenic acid is shown alone below and circled within coenzyme A.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): The structure of pantothenic acid1
    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): The structure of coenzyme A (\(\ce{CoA}\)) with pantothenic acid circled2

    The functions of \(\ce{CoA}\) are shown and described below3.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Acetyl-\(\ce{CoA}\) is a central point in metabolism, and contains \(\ce{CoA}\)4
    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\): \(\ce{CoA}\) is used in fatty acid oxidation. The fatty acid is activated by adding \(\ce{CoA}\), forming acyl-\(\ce{CoA}\).
    Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\): Fatty acid synthesis uses \(\ce{CoA}\)5

    Acyl Carrier Protein

    Acyl carrier protein, is also important in fatty acid synthesis3.

    Most pantothenic acid in food is found as \(\ce{CoA}\), which is cleaved prior to absorption. It is then taken up into the enterocyte through the sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT) as shown below. Approximately 50% of pantothenic acid is absorbed; it is excreted primarily in urine3.

    Figure \(\PageIndex{6}\): The absorption of pantothenic acid

    Deficiency of pantothenic acid is very rare. Pantothenic acid supplementation did relieve the symptoms (burning feet and numbness of toes) of "burning feet syndrome" in prisoners in World War II6. It is believed that pantothenic acid deficiency was the cause of this syndrome. Other symptoms noted are vomiting, fatigue, weakness, restlessness, and irritability3. No toxicity has been reported.

    Query \(\PageIndex{1}\)


    3. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff JL. (2008) Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
    6. Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, editors. (2006) Modern nutrition in health and disease. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

    This page titled 10.6: Pantothenic Acid is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Brian Lindshield via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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