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Molecular mechanism of action

Vitamin K exerts its activity in the endoplasmic reticulum of the cell. During gammaglutamate carboxylation it is oxidized, but it is recycled several thousand fold before it is degraded. Its effective recycling makes that our daily requirement of vitamin K is extremely low (recommended daily allowance 90-120 µg/day).

The vitamin K-dependent steps can be characterized as follows:

  • Coenzyme for gammaglutamate carboxylase (GGCX).

  • Catalyses the carboxylation of protein-bound glutamate residues.

  • Active conformation is the hydroquinone (KH2).

  • During carboxylation KH2 is oxidized into epoxide (KO).

  • KO is recycled via Vitamin KO Reductase (VKOR).


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