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The malonate or propanedioate ion
An ion is an atom or molecule in which the total number of electrons is not equal to the total number of protons, giving it a net positive or negative electrical charge. The name was given by physicist Michael Faraday for the substances that allow a current to pass between electrodes in a...

 is C
Carbon is the chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6. As a member of group 14 on the periodic table, it is nonmetallic and tetravalent—making four electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds...

Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

O)22− (malonic acid
Malonic acid
Malonic acid is a dicarboxylic acid with structure CH22. The ionised form of malonic acid, as well as its esters and salts, are known as malonates. For example, diethyl malonate is malonic acid's ethyl ester...

 minus two hydrogen ion
Hydrogen ion
Hydrogen ion is recommended by IUPAC as a general term for all ions of hydrogen and its isotopes.Depending on the charge of the ion, two different classes can be distinguished: positively charged ions and negatively charged ions....

s). Malonate compounds
Chemical compound
A chemical compound is a pure chemical substance consisting of two or more different chemical elements that can be separated into simpler substances by chemical reactions. Chemical compounds have a unique and defined chemical structure; they consist of a fixed ratio of atoms that are held together...

 include salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

s and ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

s of malonic acid, such as
  • diethyl malonate
    Diethyl malonate
    Diethyl malonate, also known as DEM, is the diethyl ester of malonic acid. It occurs naturally in grapes and strawberries as a colourless liquid with an apple-like odour, and is used in perfumes...

    , (C2H5)2(C3H2O4),
  • dimethyl malonate
    Dimethyl malonate
    Dimethyl malonate is a diester derivative of malonic acid. It is a common reagent for organic synthesis. It is used in the malonic ester synthesis....

    , (CH3)2(C3H2O4),
  • disodium malonate
    Disodium malonate
    Disodium malonate is a sodium salt of malonic acid....

    , Na
    Sodium is a chemical element with the symbol Na and atomic number 11. It is a soft, silvery-white, highly reactive metal and is a member of the alkali metals; its only stable isotope is 23Na. It is an abundant element that exists in numerous minerals, most commonly as sodium chloride...


Malonate is a competitive inhibitor
Competitive inhibition
Competitive inhibition is a form of enzyme inhibition where binding of the inhibitor to the active site on the enzyme prevents binding of the substrate and vice versa.-Mechanism:...

 of the enzyme
Enzymes are proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates...

 succinate dehydrogenase: malonate binds to the active site
Active site
In biology the active site is part of an enzyme where substrates bind and undergo a chemical reaction. The majority of enzymes are proteins but RNA enzymes called ribozymes also exist. The active site of an enzyme is usually found in a cleft or pocket that is lined by amino acid residues that...

 of the enzyme without reacting, and so competes with succinate
Succinic acid
Succinic acid is a dicarboxylic acid. Succinate plays a biochemical role in the citric acid cycle. The name derives from Latin succinum, meaning amber, from which the acid may be obtained....

, the usual substrate of the enzyme. The observation that malonate is a competitive inhibitor
Competitive inhibition
Competitive inhibition is a form of enzyme inhibition where binding of the inhibitor to the active site on the enzyme prevents binding of the substrate and vice versa.-Mechanism:...

of succinate dehydrogenase was used to deduce the structure of the active site in that enzyme.