15 Facts About Lysine


Lysine is an a-amino acid that is a precursor to many proteins.

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Lysine catabolism occurs through one of several pathways, the most common of which is the saccharopine pathway.

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Lysine plays several roles in humans, most importantly proteinogenesis, but in the crosslinking of collagen polypeptides, uptake of essential mineral nutrients, and in the production of carnitine, which is key in fatty acid metabolism.

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Lysine is often involved in histone modifications, and thus, impacts the epigenome.

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Lysine was first isolated by the German biological chemist Ferdinand Heinrich Edmund Drechsel in 1889 from the protein casein in milk.

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Lysine imparts a strong negative feedback loop on these enzymes and, subsequently, regulates the entire pathway.

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Lysine is the limiting amino acid in most cereal grains, but is plentiful in most pulses.

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Lysine can contribute to protein stability as its e-amino group often participates in hydrogen bonding, salt bridges and covalent interactions to form a Schiff base.

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Lysine has been implicated to play a key role in other biological processes including; structural proteins of connective tissues, calcium homeostasis, and fatty acid metabolism.

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Lysine has been shown to be involved in the crosslinking between the three helical polypeptides in collagen, resulting in its stability and tensile strength.

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Lysine has been shown to play a role in anaemia, as lysine is suspected to have an effect on the uptake of iron and, subsequently, the concentration of ferritin in blood plasma.

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Lysine production for animal feed is a major global industry, reaching in 2009 almost 700, 000 tons for a market value of over €1.

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Lysine is an important additive to animal feed because it is a limiting amino acid when optimizing the growth of certain animals such as pigs and chickens for the production of meat.

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Lysine supplementation allows for the use of lower-cost plant protein while maintaining high growth rates, and limiting the pollution from nitrogen excretion.

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Lysine is industrially produced by microbial fermentation, from a base mainly of sugar.

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