Uridine monophosphate is formed from Orotidine 5'-monophosphate (orotidylic acid) in a decarboxylation reaction catalyzed by the enzymeorotidylate decarboxylase. Uncatalyzed, the decarboxylation reaction is extremely slow (estimated to occur on average one time per 78 million years). Adequately catalyzed, the reaction takes place once per second, an increase of 1017-fold.
In humans, the orotidylate decarboxylase function is carried out by the protein UMP synthase. Defective UMP synthase can result in orotic aciduria, a metabolic disorder.
Effects on animal intelligence
In a study, gerbils fed a combination of uridine monophosphate, choline, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were found to have significantly improved performance in running mazes over those not fed the supplements, implying an increase in cognitive function.
In brain research studies, uridine monophosphate is used as a convenient delivery compound for uridine.Uridine is the active component of this compound. Uridine is present in many foods, mainly in the form of RNA. However, uridine in RNA is not bioavailable, since it is almost entirely destroyed in the liver and gastrointestinal tract. Thus no food, when consumed, has ever reliably been shown to raise blood uridine levels except mothers' milk or infant formulas which contain uridine in the form of uridine monophosphate instead of as RNA.