NRK1 controls nicotinamide mononucleotide and nicotinamide riboside metabolism in mammalian cells

NRK1 controls nicotinamide mononucleotide and nicotinamide riboside metabolism in mammalian cells

Published in Nature Communications.

NAD+ plays a vital role in many of the body’s cellular processes. To supply cells with NAD+, the body converts NR into a compound called NMN which then gets converted to NAD+. Supplementing with NMN or NR protects against age-related diseases, degenerative diseases of the nervous system and metabolic diseases.

In this study, researchers show that an enzyme attached to NR, called NRK1, is essential for making NAD+ from either NR or NMN. The researchers also confirmed that the body first turns supplemental NMN into NR. Only then can the NR be absorbed by cells and converted into NAD+. (So instead of skipping a step in the body’s NAD-making process, supplementing with NMN adds a step.) These results also explain why some of the same metabolic effects are seen with both NMN and NR supplementation.

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