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What is Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide NAD?
In this blog post, we explore the structure of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). We will focus on its function and the different ways it is used in metabolism. In particular, we will try to understand how our cells use NAD as a critical coenzyme for fuel production and to assess the relative contribution of NAD-dependent enzymes to the entire energy budget of our cells.
How is NAD synthesized?
A NAD precursor Nicotinamide (NIC) is from vitamin B3 (Niacin), part of the B-complex vitamins. Nicotinamide (NIC) forms from vitamin B3 (Niacin). It is part of the B-complex vitamins. Our cells have NAD synthetase enzymes that synthesize NIC from the B vitamin nicotinic acid, producing NAD as a metabolite. The exact mechanism of synthesis is not precise, although the PPP likely mediates it.
How can I increase my NAD+ naturally?
The two primary sources of nicotinamide in the body are dietary intake of natural food sources (such as fruits and vegetables) and dietary supplementation.
Nicotinamide is also an end-product of histidine metabolism, with about 50% of the body’s NAD pool generated due to this pathway, which we will explore next. The structure of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is shown below.
How NAD+ Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is Formed
The ring structure consists of three parts: adenosine (purple), nicotinamide (pink), and ribose (yellow). All three forms are shown together, with the coenzyme structure shown in blue.
What is NAD used for?
NAD is a coenzyme involved in converting glucose to pyruvate in glycolysis. It is a process commonly referred to as glycolysis. By this means, we can understand that NAD is necessary for pyruvate production. Or a precursor to several important molecules in the Krebs cycle. Coenzyme NAD and Glucose convert to pyruvate (green) in the presence of NAD. Pyruvate is converted into acetyl-CoA.
For glucose to undergo glycolysis, a pair of enzymes called glucokinase and phosphofructokinase must be present. Together they catalyze the conversion of glucose to pyruvate, which is a key precursor to the Krebs cycle.
In glycolysis, pyruvate changes to acetyl-CoA, an essential for the Krebs cycle. This process is catalyzed by a NAD-dependent enzyme called pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). As we will see, NAD-dependent enzymes are key players in cell metabolism.
In particular, NAD is necessary for the synthesis of ATP through a process called oxidative phosphorylation, which is the most common pathway used by cells to produce the energy needed for metabolism. Therefore, NAD-dependent enzymes are responsible for almost all of the energy production in our bodies.
How does NAD Work?
The enzymes are NAD synthetase, the Nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenases, and glycolytic enzymes. NAD synthetase converts nicotinic acid to nicotinamide and ADP. Then, NAD synthetase follows NAD’s dehydrogenase enzymes. Which NAD use to produce the high-energy molecule NADH.
Finally, the NADH generated is converted to NADPH by the enzyme NADP-specific isocitrate dehydrogenase. In addition to being an essential coenzyme, NAD is used by specific enzymes to regulate their activity.
NAD-dependent enzymes, including glycolysis and PPP enzymes, as well as those enzymes that synthesize ribosomal RNA and DNA play the role of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide NAD-dependent enzymes in cell metabolism.