Flavins and Flavoenzymes in Diagnosis and Therapy

  • Katja Becker
  • Markus Schirmer
  • Stefan Kanzok
  • R. H. Schirmer
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 131)


Riboflavin is a vitamin but not at all harmless. It is therefore not surprising that riboflavin and the riboflavinogenic coenzymes flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) play a role in many fields of practical medicine. Here we report on new developments in medical flavinology focusing on the assessment of riboflavin status, medical interventions based on flavins, and current medical aspects concerning the enzymes glutathione reductase (GR) and thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) as representatives of a large family of homodimeric flavoproteins. For systematic and more specific information—particularly on the clinical aspects—we should like to refer the reader to comprehensive reviews (1, 2, 3, 4). This article cannot deal with one specific method. However, methodological details of special medical interest are included. We will keep recalling a simple rule that is often broken in practical medicine and in medical research: Drugs, B2 and light? The treatment can’t be right. It implies that flavins are readily photodegraded, and that a whole range of drugs (5,6) but also biological macromolecules (3,7,8) are subject to inactivating modification in riboflavin-dependent photoreactions. As exemplified for the cytostatic Vinca alkaloids vinblastine and vincristine as well as for the synthetic drug vindesine precautions have to be taken to prevent this side effect of riboflavin application (6).


Glutathione Reductase Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide Cytochrome P450 Reductase Riboflavin Deficiency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katja Becker
    • 1
  • Markus Schirmer
    • 1
  • Stefan Kanzok
    • 1
  • R. H. Schirmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of BiochemistryUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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