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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Emerging aspects of gut sulfur amino acid metabolism

Authors
item Burrin, Douglas
item Stoll, Barbara - BAYLOR COLLEGE MED

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2006
Publication Date: January 1, 2007
Citation: Burrin, D.G., Stoll, B. 2007. Emerging aspects of gut sulfur amino acid metabolism. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 10:63-68.

Technical Abstract: This review discusses the recent evidence indicating that sulfur amino acid metabolism in gastrointestinal tissues may be linked to human health and gut disease. Studies indicate that the gastrointestinal tract metabolizes 20% of dietary methionine and that its main metabolic fate is transmethylation to homocysteine and transsulfuration to cysteine. The gastrointestinal tract accounts for approximately 25% of whole-body transmethylation and transsulfuration and is a site of net homocysteine release. The production of homocysteine within the intestinal mucosa may contribute to the inflammatory response and endothelial cell dysfunction in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Studies also show that the availability of S-adenosylmethionine as a precursor for methylation reactions and polyamines plays a key role in epigenetic DNA methylation, gene expression, and colon carcinogenesis. Cysteine derived from the diet and methionine transsulfuration is a functional constituent of antioxidant systems and impacts several elements of redox status that regulate epithelial intracellular signaling, proliferation, and survival. Further studies are warranted to establish how local production of homocysteine, S-adenosylmethionine and antioxidants contributes to the development of gastrointestinal diseases and whether dietary intervention with folate and cysteine is an efficacious approach to prevention and treatment.

Last Modified: 11/25/2014
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