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Issue 6, 2017
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The photochemistry and photobiology of vitamin B12

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Biologically active derivatives of vitamin B12 are organometallic cobalt-corrinoid complexes crucial for the healthy function of humans, animals and microbes. Their role as cofactors to numerous, thermally-driven metabolic enzymes is well described, and varies depending on the nature of the upper axial ligand. This ligand also significantly influences the photophysics and photochemistry of B12. In this Perspective I will discuss the various aspects of B12 photochemistry, from its dynamic spin chemistry to the considerable potential it has for biotechnology applications. Although for many years this photochemistry was thought to have no biological function, in recent years it has become apparent that B12 photochemistry at very least has a role in light-dependent bacterial transcriptional regulation. I will provide an overview of what has been reported about B12 photobiology to date, with particular emphasis on the mechanism of the transcriptional repressor, CarH, the subject of my Young Investigator Award Plenary Lecture at the European Society for Photobiology Congress 2015 in Aveiro, Portugal.

Graphical abstract: The photochemistry and photobiology of vitamin B12

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Publication details

The article was received on 09 Feb 2017, accepted on 21 Apr 2017 and first published on 02 May 2017

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C7PP00054E
Citation: Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2017,16, 820-834
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    The photochemistry and photobiology of vitamin B12

    A. R. Jones, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2017, 16, 820
    DOI: 10.1039/C7PP00054E

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