Bibliography for Vitamin B12

There is a huge literature about Vitamin B12. Here are some key references. The articles section contains some more up-todate references.

Books  |  Reviews  |  Articles  |  X-Ray Crystal Structure Papers for the coenzyme


  1. "Chemistry and Biochemistry of B12 by Ruma Banerjee (Ed), John Wiley, New York, 1999.
  2. "Principles of Bioinorganic Chemistry" by S.J.Lippard and J.M.Berg, , p336-343 University Science Books, Mill Valley, California, 1994
  3. The Biological Chemistry of the Elements, The Inorganic Chemistry of Life by J.J.R.Frausto da Silva and R.J.P.Williams,
    Chapter 16, Nickel and Cobalt : remnants of Early Life?, Clarendon, Oxford, 1991.
    A second edition of this seminal text has now (2001) appeared.
  4. "Pollution, Causes, Effects and Control" by R.M.Harrison (Ed), , RSC, Cambridge, 1990. See p 328-325.
  5. Biochemistry by G.Zubay, (Ed), Chapter 11 Vitamins andCoenzymes Macmillan, New York, 1988.
  6. B12.Vol. 1: Chemistry and Vol. 2: Biochemistry and Medicine. by J. D.Dolphin (Ed), Wiley, New York, 1982.
  7. "Structural studies on molecules of biological interest - A volume in honour of Dorothy Hodgkin" by G.Dodson, J.P.Glusker and D Sayre (Eds), Clarendon, Oxford, 1981.
    A comprehensive description of the background to the medicine, biology and chemistry of Vitamin B12. Includes descriptions of Dorothy Hodgkin's work through the eyes of colleagues and friends.
  8. "Vitamin B12 and B12 Coenzymes" by Ei-Ichiro Ochiai, , Chapter 12, Bioinorganic Chemistry, An Introduction, Allyn and Bacon, Boston, 1977
  9. Inorganic Chemistry of Vitamin B12 by J.M.Pratt, , Academic Press, New York, 1972.



  1. Biosynthesis of vitamin B12 (Biosynthesis: Polyketides and Vitamins) by A.R. Battersby and F.J. Leeper,. Top. Curr. Chem., 1998, 195, 143-193.
  2. Vitamin B12. Recent discoveries cast new light on an ancient structure by A.I. Scott, Pure and Applied Chem., 1996, 68(11), 2057-2063
  3. Structural and solution properties of rhodoximes: the Rh analogs of cobaloximes, a vitamin B12 model. by L. Randaccio, Croat. Chem. Acta, 1994, 67(2), 235-40.
  4. The Discovery of Nature's pathway to Vitamin B12. A 25 year Odyssey by A.I.Scott, Tetrahedron, 1994, 50 (47), 13315-13333.
  5. How nature Synthesises Vitamin B12 - A Survey of the Last Four Billion Years by A.I. Scott, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 1993, 32(9), 1223-1243.
  6. Organometallic chemistry in Biology : the role of Vitamin B12 by J.Halpern, Bull. Soc. Chim. France, 1988, 187-191.
  7. Chemistry and significance of Vitamin B12 model systems by J. Halpern. D. Dolphin (Ed), B12, . 1982, 1 , 501-41. Wiley, N. Y
    A review of cobalt compounds with the chemical characteristics of vitamin B12 and its derivatives. Emphasis is on redox reactions, Co-C bond formation and cleavage, and studies related to the mechanisms of B12-promoted reactions.
  8. Mechanism of Cobalamin-Dependent Rearrangements by B.M.Babior, Acc. Chem.Res., 1975, 8, 376 - 384.

Articles - read ACS articles via

  1. "Interaction of the Substrate Radical and the 5'-Deoxyadenosine-5'-Methyl Group in Vitamin B12 Coenzyme-Dependent Ethanolamine Deaminase" by K. Warncke and A. S. Utada, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2001, 123, 8564.
  2. "A Continuous Wave and Pulse EPR and ENDOR Investigation of Oxygenated Co(II) Corrin Complexes" S. Van Doorslaer, A. Schweiger, and B. Kräutler, , J. Phys. Chem. B, 2001, 105, 7554.
  3. "Assessment of the Existence of Hyper-Long Axial Co(II)-N Bonds in Cobinamide B12 Models by Using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy" J. S. Trommel, K. Warncke, and L. G. Marzilli, , J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2001, 123, 3358.
  4. Thermodynamic and Kinetic Studies on the Reaction between the Vitamin B12b Derivative a-(N-Methylimidazolyl)cobalamin and N-Methylimidazole: Ligand Displacement at the Axial Site of Cobalamins by A. G. Cregan, N.E. Brasch,* and R. van Eldik, Inorg. Chem., 2001, 40 (7), 1430 -1438
  1. A Multinuclear Solid-State NMR Analysis of Vitamin B12 in Its Different Polymorphic Forms by A. Medek and L. Frydman, J.Amer.Chem.Soc., 2000, 122 (4), 684 -691 Multinuclear solid-state NMR methods (59Co, 13C, 15N, and 31P NMR) were applied at natural abundance to the structural and dynamic analysis of cyanocobalamin. 13C spectra were the most informative. Article provides a useful set of references into solid state NMR spectra of cobalamin.
  1. Identification of a Rearranged-Substrate, Product Radical Intermediate and the Contribution of a Product Radical Trap in Vitamin B12 Coenzyme-Dependent Ethanolamine Deaminase Catalysis by K. Warncke, J.C. Schmidt, and Shyue-Chu Ke J. Amer.Chem. Society, 1999, 121(45), 10522-10528.
  2. "The Dehydration Step in the Enzyme-Coenzyme-B12 Catalysed Diol Dehydrase Reaction of 1,2-Dihydroxyethane Utilizing a Hydrogen-Bonded Carboxylic Acid Group as an Additional Cofactor: A Computational Study" by P.George, P.E.M.Siegbahn, J.P.Glusker, and C.W.Bock, , J.Phys.Chem. B, 1999, 103, 7531.
  3. Hydrolytic Dealkylation of Organocobaloximes Related to Coenzyme B12: Ligand Influences. by M.P.Jensen, D.M.Zinkl, and J.Halpern, Inorg. Chem., 1999, 38, 2386-2393.
  1. Mechanism of Action of Vitamin B12. Ultrafast Radical Clocks Provide No Evidence for Radical Intermediates in Cyclopropane Models for the Methylmalonyl-CoA to Succinyl-CoA Carbon Skeleton Rearrangement, by Mu He and P. Dowd, J.Amer.Chem.Soc.,1998, 120(6), 1133-1137.
  1. Comparison of the Coordination Distances Derived by Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure and X-ray Crystallography in a Vitamin B12 Model by L. Randaccio* and S.Geremia, Organometallics, 1997, 16 (23), 4951 -4953.
    Communication questions the accuracy of EXAFS measurements for Co-C bond distances in models. See below, first reference.
  1. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopic Study of "Costa Type" Organocobalt Coenzyme B12 Models M. Giorgetti, M. Berrettoni, P. Conti, A. Di Cicco, R. Marassi, and I. Ascone, Organometallics, 1996, 15 (16), 3491-3495.
  2. Mechanism of Action of Vitamin B12. A New Test for Free Radical Intermediates Using a Cyclopropane Model for the Methylmalonyl-CoA to Succinyl-CoA Carbon Skeleton Rearrangement by Mu He and P.Dowd, J.Amer.Chem.Soc.,1996, 118(3), 711-711.
  3. "Mutations in the B12-Binding Region of Methionine Synthase: How the Protein Controls Methylcobalamin Reactivity" by J. T. Jarrett, M. Amaratunga, C. L. Drennan,J. D. Scholten, R. H. Sands, M. L. Ludwig, and R. G. Matthews , Biochem. , 1996, 35, 2464.
Pre : 1996
  1. "How nature Builds the Pigments of Life: The Conquest of Vitamin B12, by A.R. Battersby, Science, 1994, 264, 1551-1557.
  2. "Binding Site Revealed of Nature's Most Beautiful Cofactor" by JoAnne Stubbe, , Science, 1994, 266, 1663.
    A cogent and useful summary of the state of our understanding (in 1994) of the structure of the B12 requiring enzyme. (but see next reference)
  3. "How a Protein Binds B12: A 3.0 A X-ray Structure of B12-Binding Domains of Methionine Synthase by C.L.Drennan, S. Huang, J.T. Drummond, R.G.Matthews, M.L.Ludwig, , Science, 1994, 266, 1669
  4. "How nature Synthesises Vitamin B12 - A survey of the Last Four Billion Years by A.I.Scott, Angew.Chem.Int. Ed., 1993, 32(9), 1223-1243.
  5. "The B12 Mystery" B.T.Goldring, Chemistry in Britain,1990, 950-4.
  6. Evidence for hydride complexes of cobalt(III) corrinoids by S.M.Chemaly and J.M.Pratt, . J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 1984, 595-9.
    "Reduction of aquacobalamin and cyanoaquacobinamide with Zn dust in AcOH gave unstable yellow complexes in solution. UV-visible absorption spectra of the solns. showed the complexes to be 5-coordinate Co(III) corrinoids with H- as the axial ligand. Both reacted with H2C:CH2 and MeCH:CH2, respectively, to give ethylcobalamin and isopropylcobinamide."
  7. Organometallic Chemistry in Biology: the role of Vitamin B12 by J.Halpern, Bull.Soc.Chim.France, 1988 (2), 187-191.
  8. EPR, ENDOR, CD, and MCD Spectra of [63Cu]Cobalamin by K.A.Robinson, J.Amer.Chem.Soc., 1979, 101(20), 6105 - 6110
  9. Why Does nature Not Use the Porphyrin Ligand in Vitamin B12? by J.Halpern, J.Amer.Chem.Soc., 1987, 109, 1238-1240
  10. T.H.Finley, J.Valinsky, K.Sato, and R.H.Abeles, J.Biol.Chem., 1972, 247, 4197.
  11. J.M.Wood, P.S.Kennedy and C.G.Rosen, Nature, 1968, 220, 173.
  12. Original paper showing that methylcobalamin can methylate mercury in sediments.
  13. Pentacyanocobaltate(III). A new series of stable organocobalt compounds by J.Halpern and J.P.Maher, J.Amer.Chem.Soc.,1964,86,2311. The first cobalt alkyl complex and model for B12
  14. Alkylcobaloximes and their relation to alkylcobalamins. by G. N. Schrauzer, R. J.Windgassen, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1966, 88(16), 3738-43.
    Methods of preparationof the remarkably stable alkylcobaloximes RCo(Q2H2)Z (with R = alkyl, Q = dianions of 1,2-dioximes, Z = base) are described. These new and unusual organometallic complexes of cobalt are compared with the alkyl derivs. of vitamin B12 with which they bear a remarkable resemblance. Alkyl-cobaloximes reacted with BF3 etherate forming cyclic oxime boronic esters of composition RCo(Q2Z2F4)Z. Preparation of the first alkylaquocobaloximes, RCo(Q2H2)H2O, is also reported.

X-ray Crystal Structure Papers for the Coenzyme

  1. D.C.Hodgkin, J.Kamper, M.Mackay, J.Pickworth, Nature, 1956, 178, 64
  2. D.C.Hodgkin, Proc. Royal Soc. (London), 1957, A242, 228
  3. D.C.Hodgkin, Proc. Royal Soc. (London), 1959, A251, 306
  4. J.G.White, Proc. Royal Soc. (London), 1962, A266, 440
  5. D.C.Hodgkin, J.Lindsey, M.Mackay, K.N.Trueblood, Proc. Royal Soc. (London), 1962, A242, 475
  6. D.C.Hodgkin, J.Lindsey, R.A. Sparks, K.N.Trueblood, J.G.White, Proc. Royal Soc. (London), 1962, A242, 494
  7. C.Brink-Shoemaker, D.W.J.Cruickshank, D.C.Hodgkin, M.J.Kamper, D.Piling, Proc. Royal Soc. (London), 1964, A278, 1
Adenosyl cobalamin:
  1. P.G.Lenhert and D.C. Hodgkin, Nature, 1961, 192, 937
  2. P.G. Lenhert, Proc. Royal Soc. (London), 1968, A303, 45
Methyl cobalamin:
  1. The structure of a B12 coenzyme: methylcobalamin studies by x-ray and NMR methods. by M. Rossi, J.P.Glusker, L. Randaccio, M.F.Summers, P.J.Toscano, L.G.Marzilli. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1985, 107(6), 1729-38.
    "The structural and NMR studies revealed no particular steric interactions involving the Me group of methylcobalamin. Furthermore, the similarity in structure of the nonalkyl portion of coenzyme B12 and methyl-B12, with a bulky and with a small alkyl ligand, suggested that the bulkiness of the alkyl substituent in coenzyme B12 is not a major structural determinant."