cofactor


co·fac·tor

noun \ˈkō-ˌfak-tər\

Definition of COFACTOR

1
:  the signed minor of an element of a square matrix or of a determinant with the sign positive if the sum of the column number and row number of the element is even and with the sign negative if it is odd
2
:  a substance that acts with another substance to bring about certain effects; especially :  coenzyme
3
:  something (as diet or a virus) that acts with or aids another factor in causing disease

First Known Use of COFACTOR

1885

co·fac·tor

noun \ˈkō-ˌfak-tər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of COFACTOR

1
: a substance that acts with another substance to bring about certain effects; especially : coenzyme
2
: something (as a diet or virus) that acts with or aids another factor in causing disease

cofactor

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

An atom, organic molecule, or molecular group that is necessary for the catalytic activity (see catalysis) of many enzymes. A cofactor may be tightly bound to the protein portion of an enzyme and thus be an integral part of its functional structure, or it may be only loosely associated and free to diffuse away from the enzyme. Cofactors of the integral kind include metal atoms—such as iron, copper, or magnesium—or moderately sized organic molecules called prosthetic groups; many of the latter contain a metal atom, often in a coordination complex (see transition element). Removal of the cofactor from the enzyme's structure causes loss of its catalytic activity. Loosely associated cofactors are called coenzymes; examples include most members of the vitamin B complex. Rather than directly contributing to the catalytic ability of an enzyme, coenzymes participate with the enzyme in the catalytic reaction. Sometimes this distinction in definition is no longer made, and coenzyme is used in the broader sense of cofactor.

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