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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Enzymatic reactions of methionine sulfoximine. Conversion to the corresponding alpha-imino and alpha-keto acids and to alpha-ketobutyrate and methane sulfinimide.

L-Methionine sulfoximine is a substrate of L-amino acid oxidase (Crotalus adamanteus), glutamine transaminase, and gamma-cystathionase. In the reaction catalyzed by L-amino acid oxidase, methionine sulfoximine is converted to aplph-imino-gamma-methylsulfoximinylbutyrate, which undergoes rapid gamma elimination yielding methane sulfinimide and 2-imino-3-butenoic acid. Methane sulfinimide is converted to methane sulfonamide, methane sulfinic acid, and methane sulfonic acid; 2-imino-3-butenoic acid is hydrolyzed to vinylglyoxylate, which polymerizes to an insoluble product. When the reaction is carried out in the presence of semicarbazide, the imine formed initially is quantitatively trapped as alpha-keto-gamma-methylsulfoximinylbutyrate semicarbazone, from which the free alpha-keto acid may be obtained. When the reaction is carried out in the presence of a mercaptan (RSH), a gamma exchange reaction occurs leading to formation of a new alpha-keto acid substituted in the gamma position by an SR-group; thus, alpha-keto-gamma-(beta-hydroxyethiol)butyric acid (S-(hydroxyethyl)-2-keto-4-mercaptobutyric acid) was obtained when L-methionine sulfoximine was oxidized in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol, and enzymatic transamination of this alpha-keto acid with L-glutamine gave the new amino acid, L-omega-hydroxyethionine. The reaction of L-methionine sulfoximine with gamma-cystathionase yields 1 mol each of alpha-ketobutyrate and methane sulfinimide; the latter is hydrolyzed almost exclusively to methane sulfinic acid. Transamination of L-methionine sulfoximine yields the corresponding alpha-keto acid (alpha-keto-gamma-methylsulfoximinylbutyrate), which is stable. Some of these reactions may occur in vivo, and thus contribute to the toxicity of L-methionine sulfoximine.[1]


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