Vit C

Keith Robison robison at
Mon Jan 29 08:32:10 EST 1996

IAN DWORKIN (idworkin at wrote:
: In article <31004A7C.6EDC1F90 at>, Chris Barry <chbarry at> writes:
: >I read on one of the newsgroups recently that man is one of the few
: >mamals that don't produce vitamine C. There were a couple of follow up
: >articles to the thread that seemed to confirm the statement. The
: >statement has been bothering me since. I seem to recall that some people
: >can produce vitamine C. Am I wrong? Are you aware of an article that can
: >confirm/refute their statement? Thanks in advance.
: >

: >Chris

:  As far as I know, no human is capable of producing ascorbic acid, the enzyme
: which we are missing for the completion of the biosynthetic [pathway is present
: in the human genome as a pseudogene. Since it intiailly lost its function, it
: has become a neutral marker, and thus has been subject to alot of nucleotide
: substitutions. If i remember correctly there are a few exons which are
: reasonably intact, but I would have to look it up. If you are very interested 
Could you post the name of the enzyme?  This sort of question
comes up periodically.

Keith Robison
Harvard University
Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Department of Genetics 

robison at 

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