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.
Uridine Monophosphate in Foods
In brain research studies such as those mentioned in this article, uridine monophosphate is used as a convenient delivery compound for uridine.([reference 6] Wurtman, et al., Use of phosphatide precursors to promote synaptogenesis, Annual Rev Nutrition 2009, 29:59-87) Uridine is the active component of this compound. Uridine is present in many foods, mainly in the form of RNA. However as first shown in 1981 by Handschumacher's laboratory in Yale Medical School ([reference 7] Gasser, et al., Science, 1981, 213:777) the 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([reference 8] Carver, J.D., Advances in nutritional modifications of infant formulas, Am. J. Clin. Nutrition 2003, 77(suppl):1550S) uridine monophosphate [UMP] instead of as RNA.
^ abM. Lide, D. R. Lide: CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 87. Auflage, S. 3-56, CRC Press, 1998, ISBN 978-0-8493-0594-8
^Berg J, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L (2006). Biochemistry (6th ed. ed.). San Francisco: W. H. Freeman. ISBN0-7167-8724-5.