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The Leloir pathway
is a metabolic pathway
In biochemistry, metabolic pathways are series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell. In each pathway, a principal chemical is modified by a series of chemical reactions. Enzymes catalyze these reactions, and often require dietary minerals, vitamins, and other cofactors in order to function...
for the catabolism of D-galactose. It is named after Luis Federico Leloir
Luis Federico Leloir was an Argentine doctor and biochemist who received the 1970 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was the first Spanish-speaking scientist to ever receive the award...
In the first step α-D-galactose is phosphorylated by a kinase to galactose 1-phosphate. Also part of this pathway is a mutarotase that facilitates the conversion of β-D-galactose to α-D-galactose since the kinase is only active with the α-form of D-galactose. D-galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase is producing D-glucose 1-phosphate; UDP-galactose-4-epimerase is to recycle the UDP-galactose to UDP-glucose for the transferase reaction and phosphoglucomutase converts the D-glucose 1-phosphate to D-glucose 6-phosphate.