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Lysine (abbreviated as Lys or K) is an α-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCH(NH2)(CH2)4NH2. This amino acid is an essential amino acid, which means that humans cannot synthesize it. Its codons are AAA and AAG.
Lysine is a base, as are arginine and histidine. The ε-amino group often participates in hydrogen bonding and as a general base in catalysis. Common posttranslational modifications include methylation of the ε-amino group, giving methyl-, dimethyl-, and trimethyllysine. The latter occurs in calmodulin. Other posttranslational modifications include acetylation. Collagen contains hydroxylysine which is derived from lysine by lysyl hydroxylase. O-Glycosylation of lysine residues in the endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi apparatus is used to mark certain proteins for secretion from the cell.
As an essential amino acid, lysine is not synthesized in animals, hence it must be ingested as lysine or lysine-containing proteins. In plants and microorganisms, it is synthesized from aspartic acid, which is first converted to β-aspartyl-semialdehyde. Cyclization gives dihydropicolinate, which is reduced to Δ1-piperidine-2,6-dicarboxylate. Ring-opening of this heterocycle gives a series of derivatives of pimelic acid, ultimately affording lysine. Enzymes involved in this biosynthesis include:
The human nutritional requirement is 1–1.5 g daily. It is the limiting amino acid (the essential amino acid found in the smallest quantity in the particular foodstuff) in all cereal grains, but is plentiful in all pulses (legumes). Plants that contain significant amounts of lysine include:
Good sources of lysine are foods rich in protein including meat (specifically red meat, pork, and poultry), cheese (particularly parmesan), certain fish (such as cod and sardines), and eggs.
Nuts are particularly a bad source for lysine.#REDIRECT []
L-Lysine is a necessary building block for all protein in the body. L-Lysine plays a major role in calcium absorption; building muscle protein; recovering from surgery or sports injuries; and the body's production of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
It has been suggested that lysine may be beneficial for those with herpes simplex infections. However, more research is needed to fully substantiate this claim. For more information, refer to Herpes simplex - Lysine.
In the movie Jurassic Park the dinosaurs were genetically altered so they could not produce lysine (the "lysine contingency"). This was supposed to prevent the dinosaurs from leaving the park.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Lysine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|