Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Biotechnol. Mol. Biol. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1538-2273
  • DOI: 10.5897/BMBR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 101

Review

Homocysteine-A potent modulator

Janani Kumar*, Sowmiya Jayaraman and Nandhitha Muralidharan
Vellore Institute of Technology, VIT Vellore, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 16 December 2011
  •  Published: 31 March 2012

Abstract

Homocysteine is an amino acid and is an intermediate metabolite of methionine metabolism. It is metabolized by two pathways, the trans-methylation and trans-sulphuration. These processes rely on an adequate supply of vitamin B12 and B6 and folic acid. Deficiency of vitamin B12, Band folic acid can build up homocysteine level in blood stream. High homocysteine levels has been implicated in a variety of clinical conditions and is widely accepted, alongside smoking, obesity, hypertension and dyslipidemia as being an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine promotes artery problems in more than one way. Homocysteine got a bad rap from its cozy relationship with heart attacks and stroke. Researchers have repeatedly demonstrated that if they give a person a drink containing methionine, homocysteine will shoot up, and blood flow will shrink up. If they give the person a gram of vitamin C before they give the methionine, blood flow will be maintained. This indicates that antioxidant (vitamin C) prevents the formation of free radicals from homocysteine, which interferes with the ability of the blood vessels and causes cardio vascular diseases. Hence, further research is required to confirm whether antioxidant rich diet can prevent the homocysteine formation in the body or not.

 

Key words: Homocysteine, vitamins, methonine, disease.