Differentiate between prosthetic group and co-enzyme.

By Ritesh|Updated : September 4th, 2022


Prosthetic group



The prosthetic group is a helper molecule, a non-proteinaceous compound that helps enzymes perform functions.

A coenzyme is a cofactor molecule that is an organic molecule that helps enzymes to catalyze chemical reactions.

Bond with Enzymes

They bind covalently or tightly with the enzymes to aid the enzymes

They bind loosely with the active site of the enzyme to help the catalytic function


These are vitamins, metal ions, sugars, or lipids

These are vitamins, nucleotides, or vitamin derivatives

Main Function

It provides a structural property to enzyme

It provides a functional property to enzyme

Removal from enzyme

It cannot be removed from enzymes easily

Can be removed from enzymes easily


Include heme and flavin nucleotides

Include ATP, AMP, FAD, coenzyme A, NAD+, and S- adenosyl methionine

Prosthetic Group and Co-enzyme

  • Prosthetic group Enzymes are made up of polypeptide chains except for Ribozymes, RNA molecules with catalytic ability. Most enzymes need non-protein groups for a biological activity known as cofactors. The protein portion of the enzyme is known as an inactive apoenzyme. The biologically active and complete conjugated enzyme is known as the holoenzyme.
  • Coenzymes are carriers of atoms or chemical groups or electrons. The substrates are transported from the point of generation to the point of utilization. For instance, coenzyme NAD which is involved in the oxidation-reduction reactions of glycolysis and citric acid cycle in respiration shuffles between two forms - NADH is the reduced form, and NAD+ is the oxidized form.


Differentiate between prosthetic group and co-enzyme.

The differences between prosthetic group and co-enzyme based on bond with enzymes, composition, main function, removal from enzyme, and examples are given in the form of a table.


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