Biotin

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Chapter: Biochemistry : Vitamins

Biotin is a coenzyme in carboxylation reactions, in which it serves as a carrier of activated carbon dioxide.


BIOTIN

Biotin is a coenzyme in carboxylation reactions, in which it serves as a carrier of activated carbon dioxide (see Figure 10.3 for the mechanism of biotin-dependent carboxylations). Biotin is covalently bound to the ε-amino group of lysine residues in biotin-dependent enzymes (Figure 28.16). Biotin deficiency does not occur naturally because the vitamin is widely distributed in food. Also, a large percentage of the biotin requirement in humans is supplied by intestinal bacteria. However, the addition of raw egg white to the diet as a source of protein induces symptoms of biotin deficiency, namely, dermatitis, glossitis, loss of appetite, and nausea. Raw egg white contains a glycoprotein, avidin, which tightly binds biotin and prevents its absorption from the intestine. With a normal diet, however, it has been estimated that 20 eggs/day would be required to induce a deficiency syndrome. Thus, inclusion of an occasional raw egg in the diet does not lead to biotin deficiency, although eating raw eggs is generally not recommended due to the possibility of salmonella infection.

Multiple carboxylase deficiency results from a defect in the ability to add biotin to carboxylases during their synthesis or to remove it from carboxylases during their degradation. Treatment is biotin supplementation.


Figure 28.16 A. Structure of biotin. B. Biotin covalently bound to a lysyl residue of a biotin-dependent enzyme.

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