Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientific breakthrough reveals how vitamin B12 is made

Date:
August 8, 2013
Source:
University of Kent
Summary:
A scientific breakthrough has revealed how vitamin B12/antipernicious anemia factor is made -- a challenge often referred to as "the Mount Everest of biosynthetic problems."

A scientific breakthrough by researchers at the University of Kent has revealed how vitamin B12/antipernicious anemia factor is made -- a challenge often referred to as 'the Mount Everest of biosynthetic problems'.

Vitamin B12 is pieced together as an elaborate molecular jigsaw involving around 30 individual components. It is unique amongst the vitamins in that it is only made by certain bacteria. In the early 1990's it was realised that there were two pathways to allow its construction -- one that requires oxygen and one that occurs in the absence of oxygen. It is this so-called anaerobic pathway, which is the more common pathway, that proved so elusive as the components of the pathway are very unstable and rapidly degrade.

However, as explained in a paper published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), bioscientists at the University of Kent have trained a friendly bacterium called Bacillus megaterium to produce all of the components of the anaerobic B12 pathway. This has helped them acquire the missing molecular pieces of the jigsaw, allowing them to complete the picture of how this remarkable molecule is made.

The team hopes that this newly acquired information can be used to help persuade bacteria to make the vitamin in larger quantities, thereby contributing to its use in medication for people suffering with the blood disorder pernicious anemia, amongst other things.

Professor Martin Warren, who led the research, said: 'This is a really exciting time in the biological sciences -- one where our knowledge can be applied with the emerging discipline of synthetic biology to produce strains of bacteria that make enough B12, and other vitamins, for use in medicine and other sectors, such as feed for livestock.'

Key academic partners in the research included Dr Rebekka Biedendieck (Braunschweig University of Technology) and Dr Steve Rigby (Manchester Institute of Biotechnology). The Kent team also included Dr Simon Moore and Dr Mark Howard, Reader in Biological NMR Spectroscopy.

The research was funded by a grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to Professor Warren and Dr Howard.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Kent. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. J. Moore, A. D. Lawrence, R. Biedendieck, E. Deery, S. Frank, M. J. Howard, S. E. J. Rigby, M. J. Warren. Elucidation of the anaerobic pathway for the corrin component of cobalamin (vitamin B12). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1308098110

Cite This Page:

University of Kent. "Scientific breakthrough reveals how vitamin B12 is made." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130808124052.htm>.
University of Kent. (2013, August 8). Scientific breakthrough reveals how vitamin B12 is made. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130808124052.htm
University of Kent. "Scientific breakthrough reveals how vitamin B12 is made." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130808124052.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins