What is the difference between cofactor and coenzyme?
The body of human beings consists of millions of cells, tissues, organs, groups, and enzymes that play a vital role. Understanding these organs, cells, enzymes, and systems can be quite difficult.
The core difference between cofactor and coenzyme is that cofactor is a non-protein chemical compound that binds with enzymes while coenzyme is an organic compound that carries chemical groups between enzymes.
What Is Cofactor?
A cofactor is a non-protein compound that binds with enzymes and other protein molecules. They are further divided into coenzymes and prosthetic groups.
Cofactors are also known as helper molecules. They are known for activating the inactive form of enzymes such as holoenzyme. They can either be metals or coenzymes.
Table of Enzymes and their Metal Ions Requirements
|Enzymes or Proteins||Metal Ions|
|Cytochromes, hemoglobin||Fe2+ or Fe3+|
|Ferredoxin||Fe2+ or Fe3+|
|Cytochrome oxidase||Cu+ or Cu2+|
|Pyruvate phosphokinase||K+ and Mg2+|
What Is Coenzyme?
The coenzyme is an organic molecule that is non-protein in nature and it carries chemical groups between enzymes.
Coenzymes are normally modified during the reaction and another coenzyme is required to restore them into their original state.
Coenzymes are also known as co-substrate and they are regenerate into the body. The concentration of coenzyme needs to be maintained.
Types of Coenzymes and their Functions
|Carbamide coenzymes (vit. B12)||Alkyl groups|
|NAD (nicotine adenine dinucleotide)||Electron (hydrogen atom)|
|NADP (nicotine adenine dinucleotide phosphate)||Electron (hydrogen atom)|
|Pyridoxine (pyridoxal phosphate) (vit B6)||Amino groups|
|FAD (flavine adenine dinucleotide) (Vit.B2)||Electron (hydrogen atom)|
|Thiamine (thiamine pyrophosphate) (vit. B1)||Aldehydes|
|CoA (coenzyme A)||Acyl groups|
|CoQ (coenzyme Q)||Electrons (hydrogen atom)|
Comparison Chart: Cofactor Vs Coenzyme
|Meaning||Refer to a small non-protein molecule required for enzyme activity||Refer to organic non-protein compound that binds with enzymes to speed up the reaction|
|Nature||Inorganic compounds||Organic compounds|
|Types||Coenzymes and prosthetic groups||Cofactor|
|Binding||Covalently bound to enzymes||Loosely bound to enzymes|
|Function||Facilitate the function of enzymes||Support biological transformation|
|Role||Increase the rate of the reaction catalyzed by enzymes||Serve as the carrier of enzymes|
|Removal||Can be removed by denaturing enzymes||Can easily be removed since they are loosely bound|
|Examples||They include metal ions such as metal ions like zinc (Zn2+), K+ and Mg2+||Vitamins, biotin, coenzyme A|
Core Differences between Cofactor and Coenzyme
- Cofactor bind to an enzyme while coenzyme is a carrier of enzymes
- The alternative name of the cofactor is helper molecules while that of the coenzyme is cosubstrates
- Cofactor bind covalently with enzymes while coenzymes are loosely bound with enzymes
- Coenzyme can easily be removed while cofactor can be removed through denaturing enzymes
- A cofactor is a chemical compound while coenzyme is a chemical molecule
- A cofactor is an inorganic substance while coenzyme is an organic substance
- Coenzyme act as carriers while cofactor increase the rate of reaction
- The coenzyme is meant for biological transformation while cofactor is meant to aid enzyme activity
- Type of cofactors are coenzymes and prosthetic groups while coenzymes are cofactors
- Examples of cofactors are Zn2+, K+, and Mg2+ while coenzymes are vitamins, biotin, and coenzyme A
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Coenzymes are organic molecules that bind loosely with enzymes while cofactors are organic compounds that bind covalently with enzymes. The binding nature help determines how they can be removed.