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Transamination refers to a shift of the α-amino group of an amino acid to an α- keto acid . This creates a new amino acid and a new α-keto acid. This reaction is catalyzed by the aminotransferases and the coenzyme pyridoxal phosphate . Pyridoxal phosphate is the active form of pyridoxine (vitamin B 6 ).

Transamination reaction scheme

An example of this reaction is the conversion of alpha-ketoglutarate and alanine to glutamic acid and pyruvate and vice versa. In this way the organism can produce or break down (non-essential) amino acids itself.

The importance and mechanism of transamination in metabolism was recognized by the Russian biochemist Alexander E. Braunstein from the 1930s .

See also


  • Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer : Biochemistry. 6 edition, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 2007. ISBN 978-3-8274-1800-5 .
  • Donald Voet, Judith G. Voet: Biochemistry. 3rd edition, John Wiley & Sons, New York 2004. ISBN 0-471-19350-X .
  • Bruce Alberts , Alexander Johnson, Peter Walter, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts: Molecular Biology of the Cell , 5th Edition, Taylor & Francis 2007, ISBN 978-0815341062 .