S-Adenosyl-L-methionine—Donor of Methyl Groups

  • Roger L. P. Adams
  • Roy H. Burdon
Part of the Springer Series in Molecular Biology book series (SSMOL)


The compound S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet), shown in Figure 4.1, is the methyl group donor in numerous cellular enzymatic transmethylation reactions, including DNA methylation (Cantoni, 1975). In reality AdoMet is probably second only to ATP in the variety of reactions it serves as a cofactor. When it was first discovered, it appeared to contribute only to the modification of small molecules. However it soon became clear that this is a unique modifying agent, created during evolution to shape the structure of macromolecules as well. Proteins, lipids, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids (RNA and DNA) are all subject to methylation by highly specific enzymes after their primary biosynthesis.


Methyl Glyoxal Adenosine Deaminase Transmethylation Reaction Sulfonium Compound Unstimulated Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger L. P. Adams
    • 1
  • Roy H. Burdon
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Department of Bioscience and BiotechnologyUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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