Monday, July 25, 2011

The discovery of pantothenic acid

Pantothenic ACID as discovered during investigations of an anti-dermatitis growth factor for yeast and certain bacteria by Roger J. Williams in 1931. Roger J. Williams, the University of Texas microbiologists R. J Williams was pursuing studies of the essential nutrients for Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other yeasts.

The vitamin was also investigated as a growth promoting factor for lactic acid bacteria.

The name pantothenic acid, given to the active substance by Williams and his coworkers in 1933, indicated its wide spread occurrence in nature. It is also referred to the substance as vitamin B3.

Pantothenic acid derives its name from Greek word ‘Pantothen’ which means ‘found everywhere’.

First isolated in 1938, Williams established the structure of the vitamin in 1940.

Before that in 1939 Elvehjem and Jukes showed that pantothenic acid was required for growth and prevented dermatitis in chickens.

The total synthesis of the structure was first achieved by the US Merck group in 1940.

However, it drew interest only after 1950 when F. Lipmann showed that pantothenic acid was part of coenzyme A, required for biological acetylation reactions.
The discovery of pantothenic acid