field has a rich scientific history that culminated in 3 Nobel Prizes on its discovery, crystallographic characterization, and total synthesis. Because of its highly complex architecture (B12
is Nature’s largest and most complex cofactor) and its unique metal-carbon bond, B12
and its derivatives methyl- and adenosylcobalamin (MeCbl & AdoCbl) have attracted interests from a very broad community including biochemists, microbiologists, and chemists. Furthermore, the cofactor plays an important role in medicine. It was discovered during the search for the causes of pernicious anemia, and methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria are inborn errors of vitamin B12
metabolism. In addition, B12
nutritional deficiencies in the elderly are linked to dementia. Corphins are related in structure to the corrin ligand system in B12
and are found in the F430 cofactor involved in methane biosynthesis.
The GRC on B12
and corphins is highly interdisciplinary and is attended by scientists from a diverse array of fields including microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, enzymology, epidemiology, genetics, medicine, and physics. Topics typically covered range from enzyme mechanisms, detailed spectroscopic studies on the cofactors, synthetic and computational model studies, and biosynthesis to toxicological studies, genetic markers for B12
metabolism, and the mechanisms of transport and metabolism.
What is a GRC? Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) are 5-day meetings that bring scientists together from around the world to present and discuss unpublished research with other leaders in their field.