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    Methionine, sulfur-containing amino acid obtained by the hydrolysis of most typical proteins. First isolated from casein (1922 ), methionine accounts for about 5 percent of the weight of egg albumin; other proteins consist of much smaller quantities of methionine. It is among several so-called important amino acids for mammals and fowl; i.e., they can not manufacture it. In microbes it is manufactured from the amino acids cysteine and aspartic acid.

    Methionine is essential in methylation (the procedure by which methyl, or -ch3, groups are contributed to compounds) and is also a precursor of two other amino acids, cystine and cysteine. [1]

    Other names

    Methionine; methionine, l-; γ-methylthio-α-aminobutyric acid; butanoic acid, 2-amino-4-( methylthio)-, (s)-; cymethion; l-(-)- methionine; met; s-methionine; 2-amino-4-( methylthio) butyric acid; butyric acid, 2-amino-4-( methylthio)-; l(-)- amino-γ-methylthiobutyric acid; l-α-amino-γ-methylmercaptobutyric acid; l-γ-methylthio-α-aminobutyric acid; 2-amino-4-methylthiobutanoic acid; liquimeth; acimethin; l-2-amino-4-( methylthio) butyric acid; (s) -2- amino-4-( methylthio) butanoic acid; h-met-oh; l-homocysteine, s-methyl-; nsc 22946; 2-amino-4-methylthiobutanoic acid (s)-. [2]


    Methionine is an amino acid. amino acids are the building blocks that our bodies utilize to make proteins. Methionine is discovered in meat, fish, and dairy products. It plays an important role in the many functions within the body.

    Methionine is frequently taken by mouth to treat liver disorders and viral infections in addition to numerous other uses. But there is minimal scientific research study that supports these usages. [3]


    L-methionine, the primary sulfur-containing amino acid in proteins, plays vital roles in cell physiology as an antioxidant and in the breakdown of fats and heavy metals. Previous studies suggesting using l-methionine as a treatment for anxiety and other diseases show that it might also improve memory and propose a role in brain function. Nevertheless, some proof suggests that an excess of methionine can be harmful and can increase the danger of establishing type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, specific kinds of cancer, brain alterations such as schizophrenia, and memory disability. [4]


    As an essential amino acid, methionine is not synthesized de novo in people and other animals, which must ingest methionine or methionine-containing proteins. In plants and microbes, methionine biosynthesis belongs to the aspartate household, together with threonine and lysine (through diaminopimelate, however not through α-aminoadipate). The main backbone is derived from aspartic acid, while the sulfur may originate from cysteine, methanethiol, or hydrogen sulfide.

    First, aspartic acid is transformed through β-aspartyl-semialdehyde into homoserine by 2 reduction actions of the terminal carboxyl group (homoserine has for that reason a γ-hydroxyl, hence the homo- series). The intermediate aspartate-semialdehyde is the branching point with the lysine biosynthetic path, where it is instead condensed with pyruvate. Homoserine is the branching point with the threonine pathway, where instead it is isomerised after activating the terminal hydroxyl with phosphate (also utilized for methionine biosynthesis in plants).

    Homoserine is then triggered with a phosphate, succinyl or an acetyl group on the hydroxyl.

    In plants and possibly in some germs, phosphate is utilized. This step is shared with threonine biosynthesis.

    In many organisms, an acetyl group is utilized to trigger the homoserine. This can be catalysed in bacteria by an enzyme encoded by metx or meta (not homologues). In enterobacteria and a limited number of other organisms, succinate is utilized. The enzyme that catalyses the reaction is meta and the uniqueness for acetyl-coa and succinyl-coa is dictated by a single residue. The physiological basis for the preference of acetyl-coa or succinyl-coa is unknown, but such alternative routes exist in some other pathways (e.g. lysine biosynthesis and arginine biosynthesis).

    The hydroxyl activating group is then replaced with cysteine, methanethiol, or hydrogen sulfide. A replacement reaction is technically a γ-elimination followed by a variation of a michael addition. All the enzymes included are homologues and members of the cys/met metabolic process plp-dependent enzyme family, which is a subset of the plp-dependent fold type i clade. They utilise the cofactor plp (pyridoxal phosphate), which functions by stabilising carbanion intermediates.

    If it reacts with cysteine, it produces cystathionine, which is cleaved to yield homocysteine. The enzymes included are cystathionine-γ-synthase (encoded by metb in bacteria) and cystathionine-β-lyase (metc). Cystathionine is bound differently in the two enzymes allowing β or γ reactions to occur. If it responds with free hydrogen sulfide, it produces homocysteine. This is catalysed by o-acetylhomoserine aminocarboxypropyltransferase (formerly called o-acetylhomoserine (thiol)- lyase. It is encoded by either mety or metz in germs. If it reacts with methanethiol, it produces methionine straight. Methanethiol is a byproduct of catabolic path of specific compounds, for that reason this route is more unusual. If homocysteine is produced, the thiol group is methylated, yielding methionine. 2 methionine synthases are understood; one is cobalamin (vitamin b12) reliant and one is independent.

    The path using cysteine is called the “transsulfuration pathway”, while the pathway utilizing hydrogen sulfide (or methanethiol) is called “direct-sulfurylation pathway”.

    cysteine is similarly produced, namely it can be made from a triggered serine and either from homocysteine (” reverse trans-sulfurylation route”) or from hydrogen sulfide (” direct sulfurylation route”); the activated serine is normally o-acetyl-serine (by means of cysk or cysm in e. Coli), however in aeropyrum pernix and some other archaea o-phosphoserine is used. Cysk and cysm are homologues, however belong to the plp fold type iii clade. [5]

    Mechanism of action

    The system of the possible anti-hepatotoxic activity of l-methionine is not completely clear. It is believed that metabolism of high doses of acetaminophen in the liver lead to reduced levels of hepatic glutathione and increased oxidative stress. L-methionine is a precursor to l-cysteine. L-cysteine itself might have antioxidant activity. L-cysteine is also a precursor to the antioxidant glutathione. Antioxidant activity of l-methionine and metabolites of l-methionine appear to represent its possible anti-hepatotoxic activity. Recent research recommends that methionine itself has free-radical scavenging activity by virtue of its sulfur, along with its chelating capability. [6]

    Dietary sources

    The met-content of proteins differs considerably depending on the food source. Foods with an especially high percentage include eggs (31 mg/g protein), cod (30 mg/g), and chicken (28 mg/g). Intermediate material remains in beef (26 mg/g), pork (26 mg/g), milk (25 mg/g), and rice (24 mg/g). Grains and other plant-derived protein sources tend to consist of a lower portion. Examples are corn (21 mg/g), wheat and oats (18 mg/g), rye and beans (15 mg/g), and cauliflower (14 mg/g). Cooking foods at high temperatures (browning) can decrease satisfied bioavailability due to oxidation (dworschak, 1980).

    Considering that met can not be synthesized in the body, sufficient quantities have to be provided. Met and cys are closely connected metabolically, and recommendations are typically provided for the amount of both sulfur amino acids (saa), therefore. Healthy adults should get at least 13 mg/kg each day in mix. [7]

    What is methionine used for?

    The sulfur in methionine supplies the body with many potential health advantages.

    these might include:.

    • Nurturing the hair, skin, and nails
    • Protecting the cells from toxins
    • Facilitating the detoxifying procedure
    • Slowing down the aging process
    • Assisting with the absorption of other nutrients (such as selenium and zinc)
    • Helping in the excretion of heavy metals (such as lead and mercury) assisting the body’s excretion process
    • Preventing excess fat buildup in the liver (by acting as a lipotropic representative– one that assists in the breakdown of fats)
    • Decreasing cholesterol levels by increasing lecithin production in the liver

    Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdose

    Taking an oral (by mouth) dose of methionine within 10 hours of tylenol (acetaminophen) overdose has been used in treating acetaminophen poisoning.2 methionine is believed to prevent the byproducts of acetaminophen from harming the liver as a result of an overdose of tylenol. However, other treatments are likewise used and methionine might not be the most reliable.


    Although a few of the research study is blended concerning colon cancer and methionine, a 2013 meta-analysis reports, “this meta-analysis suggests that dietary methionine intake might be associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer, specifically colon cancer. More potential research studies with long follow-up time are needed to confirm these findings.” for instance, a 2016 research study reported “amongst the 10 essential amino acids tested, methionine deprivation elicited the greatest inhibitory effects on the migration and intrusion of these [breast] cancer cells.”.

    Some research studies show that a low methionine diet could be helpful. There are specific kinds of cancer cells that depend upon methionine to grow. Hence, limiting the consumption of foods including methionine is beneficial for those who have some kinds of cancer, because it results in the death of the cancer cells.

    Alzheimer’s disease

    Research studies suggest that l-methionine might assist to improve memory and brain function, but according to a research study published by molecular neurodegeneration, “some proof indicates that an excess of methionine can be damaging and can increase the threat of developing type-2 diabetes, heart diseases, certain kinds of cancer, brain changes such as schizophrenia, and memory problems.”.

    Research on l-methionine and alzheimer’s illness has only been conducted in animal research studies. In a 2015 mouse design study found that a diet improved with l-methionine led to:.

    • An increase in amyloid (a compound that frequently builds up in the brains of those with alzheimer’s disease)
    • An increase in the level of tau protein in the brain (an increase can lead to tau protein misfolding and clumping together to form unusual tau tangles, discovered in those with alzheimer’s)
    • An increase in oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction (both believed to raise the risk of alzheimer’s illness)
    • Memory impairment and amnesia

    The research study authors concluded, “taken together, the outcomes of our study indicate that an l-methionine-enriched diet plan causes impacts in [happening in a living organism] and might contribute to the appearance of alzheimer’s- like illness in wild-type animals.”.

    Other uses

    Methionine is frequently considered other disorders, however there is a lack of clinical research study results to support the security and effectiveness of its use in these conditions:.

    • Herpes simplex and herpes zoster (shingles)
    • Signs of menopause
    • Inflammation of the pancreas
    • Liver issues
    • Depression
    • Alcohol addiction
    • Urinary tract infections (uti’s)
    • Asthma and allergic reactions
    • Schizophrenia [8]

    It can produce molecules vital for regular cell function

    One of the significant functions of methionine in the body is that it can be used to produce other essential molecules.

    It is involved in the production of cysteine, the other sulfur-containing amino acid utilized to build proteins in the body.

    cysteine can, in turn, develop a variety of molecules, including proteins, glutathione and taurine.

    glutathione is in some cases called the “master antioxidant” due to its vital role in the defenses of your body.

    It likewise contributes in the metabolism of nutrients in the body and the production of dna and proteins.

    taurine has lots of functions that help maintain the health and proper performance of your cells.

    Among the most essential particles methionine can be converted into is s-adenosylmethionine, or “sam”.

    Sam takes part in several chain reaction by moving part of itself to other molecules, consisting of dna and proteins.

    Sam is also used in the production of creatine, an important molecule for cellular energy.

    Overall, methionine is directly or indirectly involved in numerous essential procedures in the body because of the molecules it can end up being.

    Methionine can convert into several sulfur-containing molecules with essential functions, such as glutathione, taurine, sam and creatine. These particles are crucial for the normal functions of the cells in your body.

    It contributes in DNA methylation

    Your dna contains the info that makes you who you are.

    While much of this information may remain the exact same for your entire life, environmental factors can actually alter some aspects of your dna.

    This is among the most fascinating roles of methionine– that it can convert into a molecule called sam. Sam can change your dna by including a methyl group (a carbon atom and its connected hydrogen atoms) to it.

    The quantity of methionine in your diet plan might affect just how much of this procedure occurs, however there are numerous unanswered concerns about this.

    It is possible that increasing methionine in the diet could either increase or decrease how much your dna modifications as a result of sa.

    Furthermore, if these changes happen, they could be beneficial in many cases but damaging in others.

    For example, some research study has actually shown that diet plans higher in nutrients that add methyl groups to your dna may decrease danger of colorectal cancer.

    Nevertheless, other research has shown that higher methionine consumption could intensify conditions like schizophrenia, possibly due to including more methyl groups to dna.

    One of the molecules produced by methionine, sam, can change your dna. It isn’t fully clear how the methionine content of your diet plan impacts this procedure, and it is possible that this procedure is beneficial in many cases and damaging in others. [9]

    Methionine metabolic process conditions

    There are numerous disorders of methionine and sulfur metabolic process along with lots of other amino acid and natural acid metabolism conditions.

    Homocysteine is an intermediate in methionine metabolic process; it is either remethylated to regrow methionine or combined with serine in a series of transsulfuration reactions to form cystathionine and then cysteine. cysteine is then metabolized to sulfite, taurine, and glutathione. Numerous defects in remethylation or transsulfuration can cause homocysteine to collect, resulting in illness.

    The initial step in methionine metabolism is its conversion to adenosylmethionine; this conversion requires the enzyme methionine adenosyltransferase. Shortage of this enzyme leads to methionine elevation, which is not medically considerable other than that it triggers false-positive neonatal screening results for homocystinuria.

    Classic homocystinuria

    This disorder is brought on by an autosomal recessive shortage of cystathionine beta-synthase, which catalyzes cystathionine formation from homocysteine and serine. Homocysteine accumulates and dimerizes to form the disulfide homocystine, which is excreted in the urine. Because remethylation is intact, a few of the extra homocysteine is converted to methionine, which collects in the blood. Excess homocysteine inclines to apoplexy and has adverse impacts on connective tissue (perhaps including fibrillin), especially the eyes and skeleton; negative neurologic impacts might be due to apoplexy or a direct effect.

    Arterial and venous thromboembolic phenomena can happen at any age. Many patients establish ectopia lentis (lens subluxation), intellectual impairment, and osteoporosis. Clients can have a marfanoid habitus even though they are not typically high.

    Medical diagnosis of classic homocystinuria is by neonatal screening for elevated serum methionine; raised overall plasma homocysteine levels and/or dna testing are confirmatory. Enzymatic assay in skin fibroblasts can likewise be done.

    Treatment of classic homocystinuria is a low-methionine diet plan and l-cysteine supplementation integrated with high-dose pyridoxine (a cystathionine synthetase cofactor) 100 to 500 mg orally once a day. Due to the fact that about half of clients respond to high-dose pyridoxine alone, some clinicians do not limit methionine consumption in these clients. Betaine (trimethylglycine), which enhances remethylation, can likewise help lower homocysteine. Betaine dosage is normally started at 100 to 125 mg/kg orally 2 times a day and titrated based upon homocysteine levels; requirements differ extensively, sometimes ≥ 9 g/day is needed. Folate 1 to 5 mg orally once a day is likewise given. With early treatment, intellectual result is normal or near typical. Vitamin c, 100 mg orally once a day, might also be offered to help avoid thromboembolism.

    Other forms of homocystinuria

    Numerous problems in the remethylation process can lead to homocystinuria. Flaws include deficiencies of methionine synthase (ms) and ms reductase (msr), delivery of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, and shortage of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (mthfr, which is required to create the 5-methyltetrahydrofolate required for the ms reaction). Due to the fact that there is no methionine elevation in these forms of homocystinuria, they are not identified by neonatal screening.

    Scientific manifestations are similar to other forms of homocystinuria. In addition, ms and msr shortages are accompanied by neurologic deficits and megaloblastic anemia. Scientific symptom of mthfr shortage is variable, including intellectual disability, psychosis, weak point, ataxia, and spasticity.

    Diagnosis of ms and msr shortages is suggested by homocystinuria and megaloblastic anemia and confirmed by dna screening. Clients with cobalamin problems have megaloblastic anemia and methylmalonic acidemia. Mthfr shortage is detected by dna testing.

    Treatment is by replacement of hydroxycobalamin 1 mg im once a day (for clients with ms, msr, and cobalamin flaws) and folate in supplements comparable to characteristic homocystinuria.


    This disorder is caused by deficiency of cystathionase, which transforms cystathionine to cysteine. Cystathionine build-up results in increased urinary excretion however no clinical signs.

    Sulfite oxidase shortage

    Sulfite oxidase converts sulfite to sulfate in the last action of cysteine and methionine deterioration; it needs a molybdenum cofactor. Deficiency of either the enzyme or the cofactor triggers comparable disease; inheritance for both is autosomal recessive.

    In its most serious kind, scientific manifestations appear in neonates and consist of seizures, hypotonia, and myoclonus, advancing to sudden death. Patients with milder forms might provide likewise to cerebral palsy and may have choreiform motions.

    Medical diagnosis of sulfite oxidase deficiency is suggested by elevated urinary sulfite and confirmed by determining enzyme levels in fibroblasts and cofactor levels in liver biopsy specimens and/or hereditary testing. Treatment of sulfite oxidase shortage is helpful. [10]


    The following dosages have actually been studied in clinical research study:.

    By mouth

    For acetaminophen (tylenol) poisoning: 2.5 grams of methionine every 4 hours for 4 doses to prevent liver damage and death. Methionine should be provided within 10 hours of taking the acetaminophen. This must be done by a healthcare expert. [11]

    Methionine in the body

    The estimated average requirement of grownups for overall sulphur amino acids (methionine and cysteine) is 15 mg per kg bodyweight and day (kg − 1d − 1). Recommendations for methionine intake are confounded by enzyme cofactors and substrates such as vitamin b6, vitamin b9 (folate), vitamin b12, choline, betaine, and creatine. These nutrients allow efficient use of methionine– eg, they reduce the requirement for the body to transform methionine into cysteine. Thus, although dietary methionine is essential for homoeostasis in adults and for normal development and development in children, dietary cysteine can reduce the day-to-day methionine requirements.30 this impact is often described as the sparing impact of cysteine on methionine requirement., the required minimum requirement for methionine consumption in grownups can be around 6 mg kg − 1d − 1.

    The human body maintains a balance between synthesis and deterioration of protein, and deterioration of amino acids to acquire energy for the body’s needs. In particular, the liver is important for the body’s protein turnover. The liver’s regulatory functions consist of the synthesis of non-essential amino acids, conversion of glucogenic amino acids to glucose or ketogenic amino acids to lipids, conversion of ammonia into urea, and the synthesis of a lot of plasma proteins. A nutritionally sufficient diet can be made sure by eating a large range of protein (10– 35% of total energy consumption for grownups and 5– 10 % for kids). Protein consumption of 0 · 66 g kg − 1d − 1 of well balanced protein suffices for a typical adult. Typically, people have around 150 g protein per kg of bodyweight.35 whole-body protein turnover in human beings is fairly fast, with an average protein synthesis rate approximated at around 4 g protein kg − 1d − 1 in the lack of net development. The average half-life of the overall protein in human beings is most likely on the order of 80 days. We likewise assume that body methionine easily equilibrates for the most part with dietary consumption, however long-lived proteins and tissues do exist. Presuming a homogeneous turnover of methionine with first order kinetics, it would be expected that within 2 years more than 80% of methionine in the body is replenished with methionine taken up from the diet (given a methionine consumption or loss of 10 mg kg − 1d − 1, and a methionine swimming pool of 4 g/kg). [12]

    Negative effects

    To examine the body’s responses to methionine, scientists will give a single big dosage of this amino acid and observe the impacts.

    This dosage is far larger than the advised intake, often around 45 mg/lb (100 mg/kg), or 6.8 grams for somebody who weighs 150 pounds (68 kgs).

    This type of test has been performed over 6,000 times, with mostly minor negative effects. These small negative effects consist of lightheadedness, drowsiness and changes in high blood pressure.

    One major negative occasion happened throughout among these tests, which resulted in the death of a specific with high blood pressure but health otherwise.

    Nevertheless, it seems likely that an unintentional overdose of roughly 70 times the recommended intake triggered the complications.

    In general, it appears that methionine is not especially toxic in healthy people, except at extremely high doses that would be practically difficult to acquire through the diet plan.

    Even though methionine is involved in the production of homocysteine, there is no proof that intake within a typical variety is dangerous for heart health.


    Individuals following numerous kinds of diet plans will typically surpass the suggested minimum consumption of methionine. Adverse effects in reaction to large doses are typically minor but could become harmful at incredibly high doses. [13]


    Although methionine was identified as being the most harmful amino acid in relation to growth in animals, the evidence in human beings does not point to major toxicity, except at very high levels of consumption. In spite of the function of methionine as a precursor of homocysteine, and the function of homocysteine in vascular damage and heart disease, there is no evidence that dietary consumption of methionine within sensible limitations will cause cardiovascular damage. A single dose of 100 mg/kg body weight has actually been shown to be safe, however this dosage is about 7 times the daily requirement for sulfur amino acids, and duplicated consumption for 1 wk was shown to result in increased homocysteine levels. Daily doses of 250 mg (i.e., 4 mg/kg daily) are just 25% of the everyday requirement and have actually been revealed to be safe. In general, the literature suggests that the single dosage which is generally given in the methionine loading test (100mg/kg/d) does not cause any serious complications, except in the extreme case when a 10-fold excess of methionine appears to have been given, and in patients who have schizophrenia or innate errors of sulfur amino acid metabolic process, such as hypermethioninemia. [14]


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