Vitamin B12 and drug development

Jayme L. Workinger, Robert P. Doyle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

1 Scopus citations


The consumption of vitamin B12 (B12), also known as cobalamin (Cbl), is essential for humans. B12 is produced naturally by select bacteria (and likely certain archea) (Doxey et al. 2015) and organisms must acquire the vitamin through their diet (about 2.5 pg per day for humans) (Martens et al. 2002; Nielsen et al. 2012). There are two primary biologically active forms of B12: methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. Methionine synthase uses methylcobalamin to produce the amino acid methionine from homocysteine, and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase uses adenosylcobalamin as a cofactor to produce succinyl CoA (Nielsen et al., 2012; Kräutler 2005). Mammals have developed a complex dietary uptake pathway for B12 involving a series of transport proteins and specific receptors across various tissues and organs (vide infra) (Nielsen et al., 2012; Gherasim et al. 2013). It is the understanding and exploitation of this uptake pathway that offers considerable scope for drug development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVitamin B12
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances and Insights
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781498707008
ISBN (Print)9781498706995
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • CD320
  • Cancer
  • Cubilin
  • Dietary pathway
  • Drug delivery
  • Imaging
  • Modification
  • Oral uptake
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Synthesis
  • Targeting
  • Vitamin B12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Engineering
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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