The Role of Methionine in the Intracellular Accumulation and Function of Folates

  • John M. Scott
  • Brian McKenna
  • Peadar McGing
  • Anne Molloy
  • John Dinn
  • Donald G. Weir
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 163)


It is suggested that mammalian cells have evolved to respond to methionine deficiency since in such circumstances vital methylation reactions are put at risk, due to decreased levels of S-adenosyl-methionine. Enzymatic changes occurring as a result of decreased methionine, S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine, optimize the remethylation of homocysteine to methionine by decreasing homocysteine catabolism and channelling cellular folates into 5-methyltetrahydropteroylglutamate (5-CH3-H4PteGlu). The latter, in addition to optimising the remethylation cycle, directs the folate cofactors away from purine and pyrimidine biosynthesis and decreases the rate of proliferation of rapidly dividing cells thus reducing competition for methionine incorporation into proteins. Decreased cellular homocysteine, as a result of decreased methionine, would also restrict cell division by decreased conversion of plasma 5-CH3-H4PteGlu into intracellular polyglutamates.


Megaloblastic Anaemia Methylation Reaction Plasma Folate Cobalamin Deficiency Intracellular Folate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Scott
    • 1
  • Brian McKenna
    • 1
  • Peadar McGing
    • 1
  • Anne Molloy
    • 1
  • John Dinn
    • 1
  • Donald G. Weir
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Biochemistry, Neuropathology and MedicineTrinity CollegeDublinIreland

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