The Role Of Vitamin K

Green plants are a nutritional source of vitamin K, an essential cofactor in the y-carboxylation of multiple Glu residues of several clotting factors and anticoagulant proteins. The vitamin K-depend-ent formation of y-carboxy-glutamate (Gla) residues permits the appropriate interactions of clotting factors, Ca2+, and membrane phospholipids and modulator proteins (Figures 54-1, 54-2, and 54-3). Oral anticoagulant drugs (e.g., coumadin, Figure 54-5) block Gla formation and thereby inhibit clotting; excess vitamin Kj can reverse these effects.

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