Coenzyme A biosynthetic machinery in mammalian cells

Biochem Soc Trans. 2014 Aug;42(4):1112-7. doi: 10.1042/BST20140124.


CoA (coenzyme A) is an essential cofactor in all living organisms. CoA and its thioester derivatives [acetyl-CoA, malonyl-CoA, HMG-CoA (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA) etc.] participate in diverse anabolic and catabolic pathways, allosteric regulatory interactions and the regulation of gene expression. The biosynthesis of CoA requires pantothenic acid, cysteine and ATP, and involves five enzymatic steps that are highly conserved from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. The intracellular levels of CoA and its derivatives change in response to extracellular stimuli, stresses and metabolites, and in human pathologies, such as cancer, metabolic disorders and neurodegeneration. In the present mini-review, we describe the current understanding of the CoA biosynthetic pathway, provide a detailed overview on expression and subcellular localization of enzymes implicated in CoA biosynthesis, their regulation and the potential to form multi-enzyme complexes for efficient and highly co-ordinated biosynthetic process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coenzyme A / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mammals / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Coenzyme A