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Record Information
Created at2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Updated at2020-11-24 22:20:07 UTC
NP-MRD IDNP0001013
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Natural Product Identification
Common NameHomocysteine
DescriptionHomocysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that arises during methionine metabolism. Although its concentration in plasma is only about 10 micromolar (uM), even moderate hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. Elevations in plasma homocysteine are commonly found as a result of vitamin deficiencies, polymorphisms of enzymes of methionine metabolism, and renal disease. Pyridoxal, folic acid, riboflavin, and Vitamin B(12) are all required for methionine metabolism, and deficiency of each of these vitamins result in elevated plasma homocysteine. A polymorphism of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (C677T), which is quite common in most populations with a homozygosity rate of 10-15 %, is associated with moderate hyperhomocysteinemia, especially in the context of marginal folate intake. Plasma homocysteine is inversely related to plasma creatinine in patients with renal disease. This is due to an impairment in homocysteine removal in renal disease. The role of these factors, and of modifiable lifestyle factors, in affecting methionine metabolism and in determining plasma homocysteine levels is discussed. Homocysteine is an independent cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor modifiable by nutrition and possibly exercise. Homocysteine was first identified as an important biological compound in 1932 and linked with human disease in 1962 when elevated urinary homocysteine levels were found in children with mental retardation. This condition, called homocysteinuria, was later associated with premature occlusive CVD, even in children. These observations led to research investigating the relationship of elevated homocysteine levels and CVD in a wide variety of populations including middle age and elderly men and women with and without traditional risk factors for CVD (PMID 17136938 , 15630149 ). Moreover, homocysteine is found to be associated with cystathionine beta-synthase deficiency, cystathioninuria, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency, and sulfite oxidase deficiency, which are inborn errors of metabolism.
L-2-Amino-4-mercaptobutyric acidChEBI
2-Amino-4-mercaptobutyric acidHMDB
Homocysteine, L isomerHMDB
L-Isomer homocysteineHMDB
2 Amino 4 mercaptobutyric acidHMDB
Homocysteine, L-isomerHMDB
(S)-2-Amino-4-mercapto-butanoic acidHMDB
(S)-2-Amino-4-mercaptobutanoic acidHMDB
2-Amino-4-mercapto-DL-butyric acidHMDB
2-Amino-4-mercapto-L-butyric acidHMDB
2-Amino-4-mercapto-butanoic acidHMDB
2-Amino-4-mercapto-butyric acidHMDB
2-Amino-4-sulfanylbutanoic acidHMDB
DL-2-Amino-4-mercapto-butyric acidHMDB
DL-2-Amino-4-mercaptobutyric acidHMDB
L-2-Amino-4-mercapto-butyric acidHMDB
HomocysteineMeSH, KEGG
Chemical FormulaC4H9NO2S
Average Mass135.1850 Da
Monoisotopic Mass135.03540 Da
IUPAC Name(2S)-2-amino-4-sulfanylbutanoic acid
Traditional NameL-homocysteine
CAS Registry Number454-29-5
InChI Identifier
Spectrum TypeDescriptionDepositor IDDeposition DateView
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 500 MHz, H2O, experimental)Wishart Lab2021-06-20View Spectrum
2D NMR[1H, 13C]-HSQC NMR Spectrum (2D, 600 MHz, H2O, experimental)Wishart Lab2021-06-20View Spectrum
Species of Origin
Species NameSourceReference
Arabidopsis thalianaKNApSAcK Database
Cannabis sativaCannabisDB
      Not Available
Spinacia oleraceaKNApSAcK Database
Species Where Detected
Species NameSourceReference
Escherichia coliKNApSAcK Database
Homo sapiens (Urine)KNApSAcK Database
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as l-alpha-amino acids. These are alpha amino acids which have the L-configuration of the alpha-carbon atom.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic acids and derivatives
ClassCarboxylic acids and derivatives
Sub ClassAmino acids, peptides, and analogues
Direct ParentL-alpha-amino acids
Alternative Parents
  • L-alpha-amino acid
  • Thia fatty acid
  • Fatty acid
  • Fatty acyl
  • Amino acid
  • Alkylthiol
  • Carboxylic acid
  • Monocarboxylic acid or derivatives
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organic oxide
  • Primary amine
  • Organosulfur compound
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Organopnictogen compound
  • Primary aliphatic amine
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Amine
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point232 - 233 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility148 mg/mLNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility14.8 g/LALOGPS
logP10(-2.3) g/LALOGPS
logP10(-2.6) g/LChemAxon
logS10(-0.96) g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)2.46ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)9.41ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count3ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count3ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area63.32 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count3ChemAxon
Refractivity32.94 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability13.54 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleNoChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
DrugBank IDDB04422
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB112371
KNApSAcK IDC00001365
Chemspider ID82666
KEGG Compound IDC00155
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkHomocysteine
PubChem Compound91552
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID17588
Good Scents IDNot Available
General References
  1. Selley ML, Close DR, Stern SE: The effect of increased concentrations of homocysteine on the concentration of (E)-4-hydroxy-2-nonenal in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2002 May-Jun;23(3):383-8. [PubMed:11959400 ]
  2. Yu CK, Lakasing L, Papageorghiou AT, Spencer K, Nicolaides KH: Uterine artery Doppler and mid-trimester maternal plasma homocysteine in subsequent pre-eclampsia. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2004 Aug;16(2):134-9. [PubMed:15512726 ]
  3. Giladi N, Mordechovich M, Gruendlinger L, Shabtai H, Merims D, Naor S, Baltadzhieva R, Hausdorff JM, Gur AY, Bornstein NM: "Brain Screen": A self-referral, screening program for strokes, falls and dementia risk factors. J Neurol. 2006 Mar;253(3):307-15. Epub 2005 Oct 10. [PubMed:16208527 ]
  4. Terzolo M, Allasino B, Bosio S, Brusa E, Daffara F, Ventura M, Aroasio E, Sacchetto G, Reimondo G, Angeli A, Camaschella C: Hyperhomocysteinemia in patients with Cushing's syndrome. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Aug;89(8):3745-51. [PubMed:15292300 ]
  5. Laxdal E, Eide GE, Amundsen SR, Dregelid EB, Pedersen G, Jonung T, Aune S: Homocysteine levels, haemostatic risk factors and restenosis after carotid thrombendarterectomy. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2004 Sep;28(3):323-8. [PubMed:15288638 ]
  6. Akoglu B, Wondra K, Caspary WF, Faust D: Determinants of fasting total serum homocysteine levels in liver transplant recipients. Exp Clin Transplant. 2006 Jun;4(1):462-6. [PubMed:16827644 ]
  7. Krantz JS, Mack WJ, Hodis HN, Liu CR, Liu CH, Kaufman FR: Early onset of subclinical atherosclerosis in young persons with type 1 diabetes. J Pediatr. 2004 Oct;145(4):452-7. [PubMed:15480366 ]
  8. Serot JM, Barbe F, Arning E, Bottiglieri T, Franck P, Montagne P, Nicolas JP: Homocysteine and methylmalonic acid concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid: relation with age and Alzheimer's disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2005 Nov;76(11):1585-7. [PubMed:16227558 ]
  9. Hershcovici T, Schechner V, Orlin J, Harell D, Beigel Y: Effect of different LDL-apheresis methods on parameters involved in atherosclerosis. J Clin Apher. 2004;19(2):90-7. [PubMed:15274202 ]
  10. Muller T, Renger K, Kuhn W: Levodopa-associated increase of homocysteine levels and sural axonal neurodegeneration. Arch Neurol. 2004 May;61(5):657-60. [PubMed:15148140 ]
  11. Eskes TK: Homocysteine and human reproduction. Clin Exp Obstet Gynecol. 2000;27(3-4):157-67. [PubMed:11214939 ]
  12. Winkelmayer WC, Kramar R, Curhan GC, Chandraker A, Endler G, Fodinger M, Horl WH, Sunder-Plassmann G: Fasting plasma total homocysteine levels and mortality and allograft loss in kidney transplant recipients: a prospective study. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2005 Jan;16(1):255-60. Epub 2004 Nov 24. [PubMed:15563562 ]
  13. Park BH, Kim YJ, Park JS, Lee HY, Ha EH, Min JW, Park HS: [Folate and homocysteine levels during pregnancy affect DNA methylation in human placenta]. J Prev Med Public Health. 2005 Nov;38(4):437-42. [PubMed:16358830 ]
  14. Hossain GS, van Thienen JV, Werstuck GH, Zhou J, Sood SK, Dickhout JG, de Koning AB, Tang D, Wu D, Falk E, Poddar R, Jacobsen DW, Zhang K, Kaufman RJ, Austin RC: TDAG51 is induced by homocysteine, promotes detachment-mediated programmed cell death, and contributes to the cevelopment of atherosclerosis in hyperhomocysteinemia. J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 8;278(32):30317-27. Epub 2003 May 8. [PubMed:12738777 ]
  15. Schafer SA, Mussig K, Stefan N, Haring HU, Fritsche A, Balletshofer BM: Plasma homocysteine concentrations in young individuals at increased risk of type 2 diabetes are associated with subtle differences in glomerular filtration rate but not with insulin resistance. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2006 Jun;114(6):306-9. [PubMed:16868889 ]
  16. Tchantchou F: Homocysteine metabolism and various consequences of folate deficiency. J Alzheimers Dis. 2006 Aug;9(4):421-7. [PubMed:16917151 ]
  17. Siroka R, Trefil L, Rajdl D, Racek J, Rusnakova H, Cibulka R, Eiselt J, Filipovsky J: Asymmetric dimethylarginine, homocysteine and renal function--is there a relation? Clin Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(10):1147-50. [PubMed:16197312 ]
  18. Onalan R, Onalan G, Gunenc Z, Karabulut E: Combining 2nd-trimester maternal serum homocysteine levels and uterine artery Doppler for prediction of preeclampsia and isolated intrauterine growth restriction. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2006;61(3):142-8. Epub 2005 Dec 20. [PubMed:16374017 ]
  19. Robinson G, Narasimhan S, Weatherall M, Beasley R: Raised plasma homocysteine levels in alcoholism: increasing the risk of heart disease and dementia? N Z Med J. 2005 Jun 3;118(1216):U1490. [PubMed:15937525 ]
  20. Gulsen M, Yesilova Z, Bagci S, Uygun A, Ozcan A, Ercin CN, Erdil A, Sanisoglu SY, Cakir E, Ates Y, Erbil MK, Karaeren N, Dagalp K: Elevated plasma homocysteine concentrations as a predictor of steatohepatitis in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Sep;20(9):1448-55. [PubMed:16105135 ]
  21. Joubert LM, Manore MM: Exercise, nutrition, and homocysteine. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Aug;16(4):341-61. [PubMed:17136938 ]
  22. Brosnan JT: Homocysteine and cardiovascular disease: interactions between nutrition, genetics and lifestyle. Can J Appl Physiol. 2004 Dec;29(6):773-80. [PubMed:15630149 ]