Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Roger J. Williams and vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid (also known as vitamin B5) is an essential nutrient that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. The main function of this water-soluble B vitamin is in the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl carrier protein.

Roger John Williams, an internationally biochemist and nutritional scientist is known to discover the growth-promoting vitamin pantothenic acid. After several years at the University of Oregon and Oregon State College, he joined the University of Texas at Austin in 1939.

His doctoral thesis was titled The Vitamin Requirement of Yeast, scholarship that attracted an unusual amount of attention and that proved to be the basis for much of his later work on nutrition.

Dr Williams spent most of his career as a teacher and researcher at the University of Texas, where he was professor of chemistry from 1934 until his retirement in 1971.

While at Oregon State College in 1933, Williams discovered and isolated pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, an essential vitamin for synthesizing coenzyme-A and synthesizing and metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Vitamin B5 was discovered during his studies on the vitamin B complex and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae growth.

Its name is derived from the Greek word pantos that means "everywhere", which is appropriate for this widely distributed vitamin.

C.A. Elvehjem, and T.H. Jukes demonstrated that pantothenic acid was a growth and “anti-dermatitis” factor for chickens. In the 1950s, one of the functional forms of pantothenic acid, coenzyme A (CoA), was discovered as the cofactor essential for the acetylation of sulfonamides and choline.6 In the mid-1960s, pantothenic acid was next identified as a component of acyl carrier protein (ACP) in the fatty acid synthesis complex.
Roger J. Williams and vitamin B5

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