Indexed on: 12 Aug '14Published on: 12 Aug '14Published in: Biochemical Society transactions
CoA (coenzyme A) is a ubiquitous and essential cofactor that acts as an acyl group carrier in biochemical reactions. Apart from participating in numerous metabolic pathways as substrates and intermediates, CoA and a number of its thioester derivatives, such as acetyl-CoA, can also directly regulate the activity of proteins by allosteric mechanisms and by affecting protein acetylation reactions. Cellular levels of CoA and CoA thioesters change under various physiological and pathological conditions. Defective CoA biosynthesis is implicated in NBIA (neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation). However, the exact role of CoA in the pathogenesis of NBIA is not well understood. Accurate and reliable assays for measuring CoA species in biological samples are essential for studying the roles of CoA and CoA derivatives in health and disease. The present mini-review discusses methods that are commonly used to measure CoA species in biological samples.