Possible sources and functions of l-homoarginine in the brain: review of the literature and own findings
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l-Homoarginine is a cationic amino acid derivative, which is structurally related to l-arginine and lysine. Several lines of evidence point to nervous tissue as an important target of homoarginine action. In the mammalian brain homoarginine can be detected in noticeable quantities, but its origin is currently poorly explored. In part I of this review we try to show that both uptake and transport into brain (carried out by cationic amino acid transporters) and local synthesis in the brain (carried out by the homoarginine-synthesizing enzymes l-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase and ornithine transcarbamylse) might contribute to homoarginine brain content. We then give a brief overview about the multiple effects of homoarginine on the healthy brain and show that both homoarginine excess and deficiency are potentially harmful to the central nervous system. In part II, we shortly report about own experiments with regard to the cellular localization of cationic amino acid transporters, as well the enzymes l-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase and ornithine transcarbamylse, in human and rat brains.
Keywordsl-Homoarginine Brain Transport Synthesis Functions Brain diseases
Cationic amino acid transporter
Central nervous system
Human cationic amino acid transporter
Nitric oxide synthase
Endothelial nitric oxide synthase
Inducible nitric oxide synthase
Neuronal nitric oxide synthase
Solute carriers (family of transporter proteins)
The authors wish to thank B. Jerzykiewicz for excellent technical assistance.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Brains were obtained in accordance with existing German and European Union regulations from the Magdeburg Brain Bank. All experimental procedures were in addition approved by the Ethical Committee of Magdeburg.
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