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Pulmonary, Bone, Vitamins and Autocoid Therapeutic Agents

  1. John H. Block

Published Online: 15 SEP 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0471266949.bmc067.pub2

Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery

How to Cite

Block, J. H. 2010. Vitamins. Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery. 619–692.

Author Information

  1. Oregon State University, Pharmaceutical Science, Corvallis, OR

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2010


Biochemical processes cannot operate without vitamins. Vitamins have a variety of functions and some have dual roles. Vitamin A (retinol), in its active form, is both a regulator of cell division and a structural component of the visual pigment, rhodopsin. Vitamin D (cholecalciferol), after a two-step hydroxylation in two different organs, is a hormonal regulator of calcium transport and cell division. Vitamin K is a coenzyme for carboxylation of glutamic acid. Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) is a lipid-soluble antioxidant. Thiamine (vitamin B1) is a coenzyme for decarboxylation of α-keto acids and transketolase reactions in carbohydrate metabolism. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is the active portion of the coenzymes FMN and FAD. Niacin/niacinamide are the active portions of the coenzymes NAD and NADP. The pyridoxine group (vitamin B6) is the coenzyme for amino acid metabolism including transaminations and decarboxylations. Pantothenic acid is a structural component of coenzyme A. Biotin is a coenzyme for four carboxylation reactions. Folic acid is a coenzyme for one-carbon metabolism. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin), with folic acid, is required for regeneration of methionine and, singly, is the coenzyme required for the rearrangement of methylmalonyl CoA. Ascorbic acid is a general free radical scavenger and required for at least eight biochemical reactions requiring oxidations. Vitamins A and D have provided the medicinal chemist with the basic structure to develop pharmacologically active molecules indicated for a variety of diseases. Some of the vitamins are toxic when taken in excess and have defined tolerable upper intake levels.


  • coenzyme roles;
  • commercial forms;
  • hormonal roles;
  • hypervitaminosis;
  • prototypical molecules