Pyridoxal phosphate (P5P)

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 04/05/2015



Pyridoxal phosphate, the active form of vitamin B6, is a coenzyme in a variety of enzymatic reactions. The Enzyme commission has catalogued more than 140 PLP-dependent activities, corresponding to ~4% of all classified activities. The versatility of PLP arises from its ability to covalently bind the substrate, and then to act as an electrophilic catalyst, thereby stabilizing different types of carbanionic reaction intermediates.



De-novo and Salvage pathways for PLP synthesis; De-novo being active only in prokaryotes and Plants, while Salvage pathway, that phosphorylates either pyridoxal (PL) or its related vitamers, pyridoxine (PN) and pyridoxamine (PM), being active in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes

Salvage pathway

Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate is synthesized from pyridoxal, pyridoxine or pyridoxamine, in a series of reactions catalyzed by pyridoxal kinase and pyridoxine 5'-phosphate oxidase.

pyridoxal kinase

ATP + pyridoxal = ADP + H+ + pyridoxal 5'-phosphate

pyridoxine 5'-phosphate oxidase.

H2O + O2 + pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate = H2O2 + NH4+ + pyridoxal 5'-phosphate



Protein Aminoacids Percentage (Width 700 px)


Localization and transport

pyridoxal phosphate membrane transport

A different type of transport behavior was observed for PLP, which was rapidly taken up by the isolated mitochondria. PLP first accumulated in the IMS, and subsequently entered the mitochondrial matrix in a concentrative process. Mitochondrial uptake of PLP was found to be “passive”. i.e., insensitive to inhibitors and uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation, providing evidence for carrier-mediated PLP transport uncoupled from ATP synthesis. Surprisingly, this earlier work has not been extended by further studies.

Intracellular trafficking of the pyridoxal cofactor. Implications for health and metabolic disease. 2016

  • Abstract
    The importance of the vitamin B6-derived pyridoxal cofactor for human health has been established through more than 70 years of intensive biochemical research, revealing its fundamental roles in metabolism. B6 deficiency, resulting from nutritional limitation or impaired uptake from dietary sources, is associated with epilepsy, neuromuscular disease and neurodegeneration. Hereditary disorders of B6 processing are also known, and genetic defects in pathways involved in transport of B6 into the cell and its transformation to the pyridoxal-5'-phosphate enzyme cofactor can contribute to cardiovascular disease by interfering with homocysteine metabolism and the biosynthesis of vasomodulatory polyamines. Compared to the processes involved in cellular uptake and processing of the B6 vitamers, trafficking of the PLP cofactor across intracellular membranes is very poorly understood, even though the availability of PLP within subcellular compartments (particularly the mitochondrion) may have important health implications. The aim of this review is to concisely summarize the state of current knowledge of intracellular trafficking of PLP and to identify key directions for future research.

The Mtm1p carrier and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate cofactor trafficking in yeast mitochondria. 2016

  • Biochemical communication between the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial subsystems of the cell depends on solute carriers in the mitochondrial inner membrane that transport metabolites between the two compartments. We have expressed and purified a yeast mitochondrial carrier protein (Mtm1p, YGR257cp), originally identified as a manganese ion carrier, for biochemical characterization aimed at resolving its function. High affinity, stoichiometric pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) cofactor binding was characterized by fluorescence titration and calorimetry, and the biochemical effects of mtm1 gene deletion on yeast mitochondria were investigated. The PLP status of the mitochondrial proteome (the mitochondrial ‘PLP-ome’) was probed by immunoblot analysis of mitochondria isolated from wild type (MTM1+) and knockout (MTM1−) yeast, revealing depletion of mitochondrial PLP in the latter. A direct activity assay of the enzyme catalyzing the first committed step of heme biosynthesis, the PLP-dependent mitochondrial enzyme 5-aminolevulinate synthase, extends these results, providing a specific example of PLP cofactor limitation. Together, these experiments support a role for Mtm1p in mitochondrial PLP trafficking and highlight the link between PLP cofactor transport and iron metabolism, a remarkable illustration of metabolic integration.

Mitochondrial function and toxicity: role of the B vitamin family on mitochondrial energy metabolism.2006

  • Abstract
    The B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins required as coenzymes for enzymes essential for cell function. This review focuses on their essential role in maintaining mitochondrial function and on how mitochondria are compromised by a deficiency of any B vitamin. Thiamin (B1) is essential for the oxidative decarboxylation of the multienzyme branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase complexes of the citric acid cycle. Riboflavin (B2) is required for the flavoenzymes of the respiratory chain, while NADH is synthesized from niacin (B3) and is required to supply protons for oxidative phosphorylation. Pantothenic acid (B5) is required for coenzyme A formation and is also essential for alpha-ketoglutarate and pyruvate dehydrogenase complexes as well as fatty acid oxidation. Biotin (B7) is the coenzyme of decarboxylases required for gluconeogenesis and fatty acid oxidation. Pyridoxal (B6), folate and cobalamin (B12) properties are reviewed elsewhere in this issue. The experimental animal and clinical evidence that vitamin B therapy alleviates B deficiency symptoms and prevents mitochondrial toxicity is also reviewed. The effectiveness of B vitamins as antioxidants preventing oxidative stress toxicity is also reviewed.

biological function

  • Enzymes
BRENDA - The Comprehensive Enzyme Information System"URL":
KEGG Pathways"URL":
Human Metabolome Database"URL":



Effect of exogenous hormones on transcription levels of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthetic enzymes in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. 2016

  • Vitamin B6 includes 6 pyridine derivatives, among which pyridoxal 5'-phosphate is a coenzyme for over 140 enzymes. Animals acquire their vitamin B6 from food. Through a salvage pathway, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate is synthesized from pyridoxal, pyridoxine or pyridoxamine, in a series of reactions catalyzed by pyridoxal kinase and pyridoxine 5'-phosphate oxidase. The regulation of pyridoxal 5'-phospahte biosynthesis and pyridoxal 5'-phospahte homeostasis are at the center of study for vitamin B6 nutrition. How pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthesis is regulated by hormones has not been reported so far. Our previous studies have shown that pyridoxal 5'-phosphate level in silkworm larva displays cyclic developmental changes. In the current study, effects of exogenous juvenile hormone and molting hormone on the transcription level of genes coding for the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of pyridoxal 5'-phospahte were examined. Results show that pyridoxal kinase and pyridoxine 5'-phosphate oxidase are regulated at the transcription level by development and are responsive to hormones. Molting hormone stimulates the expression of genes coding for pyridoxal kinase and pyridoxine 5'-phosphate oxidase, and juvenile hormone appears to work against molting hormone. Whether pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthesis is regulated by hormones in general is an important issue for further studies.

Mmf1p Couples Amino Acid Metabolism to Mitochondrial DNA Maintenance inSaccharomyces cerevisiae. 2018

ABSTRACT: A variety of metabolic deficiencies and human diseases arise from the disruption of mitochondrial enzymes and/or loss of mitochondrial DNA. Mounting evidence shows that eukaryotes have conserved enzymes that prevent the accumulation of reactive metabolites that cause stress inside the mitochondrion. 2-Aminoacrylate is a reactive enamine generated by pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-dependent α,β-eliminases as an obligatory intermediate in the breakdown of serine. In prokaryotes, members of the broadly conserved RidA family (PF14588) prevent metabolic stress by deaminating 2-aminoacrylate to pyruvate. Here, we demonstrate that unmanaged 2-aminoacrylate accumulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitochondria causes transient metabolic stress and the irreversible loss of mitochondrial DNA. The RidA family protein Mmf1p deaminates 2-aminoacrylate, preempting metabolic stress and loss of the mitochondrial genome. Disruption of the mitochondrial pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-dependent serine dehydratases (Ilv1p and Cha1p) prevents 2-aminoacrylate formation, avoiding stress in the absence of Mmf1p. Furthermore, chelation of iron in the growth medium improves maintenance of the mitochondrial genome in yeast challenged with 2-aminoacrylate, suggesting that 2-aminoacrylate-dependent loss of mitochondrial DNA is influenced by disruption of iron homeostasis. Taken together, the data indicate that Mmf1p indirectly contributes to mitochondrial DNA maintenance by preventing 2-aminoacrylate stress derived from mitochondrial amino acid metabolism.

Vitamin B₆ and Its Role in Cell Metabolism and Physiology. 2018

  • Abstract
    Vitamin B₆ is one of the most central molecules in cells of living organisms. It is a critical co-factor for a diverse range of biochemical reactions that regulate basic cellular metabolism, which impact overall physiology. In the last several years, major progress has been accomplished on various aspects of vitamin B₆ biology. Consequently, this review goes beyond the classical role of vitamin B₆ as a cofactor to highlight new structural and regulatory information that further defines how the vitamin is synthesized and controlled in the cell. We also discuss broader applications of the vitamin related to human health, pathogen resistance, and abiotic stress tolerance. Overall, the information assembled shall provide helpful insight on top of what is currently known about the vitamin, along with addressing currently open questions in the field to highlight possible approaches vitamin B₆ research may take in the future.

Biomedical aspects of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate availability. 2012

  • Abstract
    The biologically active form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), is a cofactor in over 160 enzyme activities involved in a number of metabolic pathways, including neurotransmitter synthesis and degradation. In humans, PLP is recycled from food and from degraded PLP-dependent enzymes in a salvage pathway requiring the action of pyridoxal kinase, pyridoxine 5'-phosphate oxidase and phosphatases. Once pyridoxal 5'-phosphate is made, it is targeted to the dozens different apoenzymes that need it as a cofactor. The regulation of the salvage pathway and the mechanism of addition of PLP to the apoenzymes are poorly understood and represent a very challenging research field. Severe neurological disorders, such as convulsions and epileptic encephalopathy, result from a reduced availability of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate in the cell, due to inborn errors in the enzymes of the salvage pathway or other metabolisms and to interactions of drugs with PLP or pyridoxal kinase. Multifactorial neurological pathologies, such as autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy have also been correlated to inadequate intracellular levels of PLP.


Biomedical aspects of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate availability. 2012

  • Severe neurological disorders, such as convulsions and epileptic encephalopathy, result from a reduced availability of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate in the cell, due to inborn errors in the enzymes of the salvage pathway or other metabolisms and to interactions of drugs with PLP or pyridoxal kinase.

Plasma Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate Is Inversely Associated with Systemic Markers of Inflammation in a Population of U.S. Adults, 2012

  • Low vitamin B-6 status, based on plasma concentrations of pyridoxal-5-phosphate (PLP), has been identified in inflammatory diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes. Our objective was to examine the association between plasma PLP and multiple markers of inflammation in a community-based cohort [n = 2229 participants (55% women, mean age 61 ± 9 y)]. We created an overall inflammation score (IS) as the sum of standardized values of 13 individual inflammatory markers. Multivariable-adjusted regression analysis was used to assess the associations between the IS and plasma PLP. Geometric mean plasma PLP concentrations were lower in the highest tertile category of IS relative to the lowest (61 vs. 80 nmol/L; P-trend < 0.0001). Similarly, the prevalence of PLP insufficiency was significantly higher for participants in the highest compared with the lowest tertiles for IS categories. These relationships persisted after accounting for vitamin B-6 intake. Also, there were significant inverse relationships between plasma PLP and 4 IS based on functionally related markers, including acute phase reactants, cytokines, adhesion molecules, and oxidative stress. In addition, secondary analyses revealed that many of the individual inflammatory markers were inversely associated with plasma PLP after adjusting for plasma C-reactive protein concentration. This study, in combination with past findings, further supports our hypothesis that inflammation is associated with a functional deficiency of vitamin B-6. We discuss 2 possible roles for PLP in the inflammatory process, including tryptophan metabolism and serine hydroxymethyltransferase activity.

Vitamin B6 Prevents IL-1β Protein Production by Inhibiting NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation. 2016

PLP, but not PL, markedly reduced the production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) in peritoneal macrophages.

Macromolecular interactions controlling the ALA synthases, keystone enzymes that initiate heme biosynthesis 2017

The life cycle of ALAS is tightly regulated at steps including mitochondrial import and protein turnover.

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