It is an important intermediate in the citric acid cycle, where it is synthesized from α-Ketoglutarate by α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase through decarboxylation. During the process, coenzyme A is added.
It is also synthesized from propionyl CoA, the odd numbered fatty acid which cannot undergo beta-oxidation. Propionyl-CoA is carboxylated to D-methylmalonyl-CoA, isomerized to L-methylmalonyl-CoA, and rearranged to yield succinyl-CoA via a vitamin B12-dependent enzyme. Succinyl-CoA is an intermediate of the citric acid cycle and can be readily incorporated there.
Succinyl CoA can be formed from methylmalonyl CoA through the utilization of deoxyadenosyl-B12 (deoxyadenosylcobalamin) by methylmalonyl CoA Mutase. This reaction, which requires vitamin B12 to occur, is important in the catabolism of some branched-chain amino acids as well as odd-chain fatty acids.