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Cofactor vs Coenzyme

July 27, 2022
written by Sidra Batool

Cofactors are non-protein molecules that help enzymes work, while coenzymes are a specific type of cofactor that undergoes chemical changes during enzyme reactions.

Difference Between Cofactor and Coenzyme 11zon

Difference Between Cofactor and Coenzyme Table

Minerals and vitamins play a vital role in metabolic activities. It plays a role in anabolic and catabolic pathways that lead to the synthesis of compounds like lipids, nucleic acids, proteins (Translation), and carbohydrates as coenzymes or cofactors.

It carries chemical groups between enzymes.They bind to an enzyme
Also known as Co-substrates.Also known as Helper molecules.
Coenzyme are loosely bound to enzymes.Some cofactors covalently bound the enzyme.
Can be easily removedIt can be removed only by denaturation.
Form Chemical moleculeForm Chemical compound
Organic substancesInorganic substances
They act as carriers.Speed up the reaction
Example Coenzyme AExample calcium ion – transglutaminase

Detailed overview of Difference Between Cofactor and Coenzyme

  • Definition
    Cofactors are inorganic ions like metal ions that help in enzyme activity, while coenzymes are organic molecules, often vitamins and derivatives, that bind to the enzyme and aid catalysis.
  • Examples
    Common cofactors include zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium ions, while common coenzymes include NAD+, FAD, Coenzyme A, and tetrahydrofolate.
  • Binding
    Cofactors bind tightly to the enzyme and remain permanently attached, while coenzymes bind loosely and can dissociate after the reaction.
  • Reusability
    Cofactors are reused in many reactions, while coenzymes are consumed and regenerated in each reaction cycle.
  • Specificity
    Cofactors have a more general, nonspecific role, while coenzymes are specific to particular types of chemical reactions.
  • Source
    Cofactors are obtained from the diet and environment, while coenzymes are synthesized internally or from dietary precursors.
  • Deficiency
    Cofactor deficiency is rare, while coenzyme deficiency can lead to impaired enzymatic reactions.
  • Involvement in Reactions
    Cofactors facilitate enzymatic reactions by stabilizing enzyme structure or aiding in electron transfer, while coenzymes play a more direct role in substrate binding and catalysis.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is another name for coenzyme?

Coenzyme is also known as Co-substrate.

What is another name for cofactor?

Co-factor is also known as Helper molecules.

What is the chemical nature of cofactor and coenzyme?

Coenzymes are organic molecules, whereas cofactors are inorganic in nature.

Is coenzyme a cofactor?

Coenzyme is a type of cofactor, but it differs in chemical nature.