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This enzyme catalyses a step in a bacterial pathway for the biosynthesis of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate. The enzyme contains a tightly-bound NAD(H) cofactor that is not re-oxidized by free NAD+. In order to re-oxidize the cofactor and restore enzyme activity, the enzyme catalyses the reduction of a 2-oxo acid (such as 2-oxoglutarate, oxaloacetate, or pyruvate) to the respective (R)-hydroxy acid . cf. EC 188.8.131.529, 2-oxoglutarate reductase.