Sunday, October 10, 2021

Vitamin B5: History and discovery

Pantothenic acid, also known as pantothenate or vitamin B5, is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin. It is pantoic acid linked to β-alanine through an amide bond.

The presence of a pellagra-like dermatitis in chicks on a restricted diet was first described by Ringrose and Norris in 1931.

Pantothenic acid (also known vitamin B5) is a water-soluble B-complex vitamin that was identified in 1933. It was first shown to be an essential factor for the growth of yeast and in curing of (deficiency-induced) dermatitis in chickens.

Pantothenic acid was isolated and extracted from liver in 1938, and first synthesized in 1940. Roger John Williams is credited with coining the name from the Greek word panthos, which translates as “from everywhere.” It was given this name because of its widespread presence in food.

Williams an American biochemist, established that pantothenic acid was required for the growth of certain bacteria and yeast. Using chromatographic and fractionation procedures that were typical of the 1930s (solvent-dependent chemical partitioning), Williams isolated several grams of pantothenic acid for structural determination from 250 kg of liver.

In the 1950s, one of the functional forms of pantothenic acid, coenzyme A (CoA), was discovered as the cofactor essential for the acetylation of sulfonamides and choline.6 In the mid-1960s, pantothenic acid was next identified as a component of acyl carrier protein (ACP) in the fatty acid synthesis complex.
Vitamin B5: History and discovery

Roger J. Williams


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