Reactome: A Curated Pathway Database

Lysine catabolism

Stable Identifier
Homo sapiens
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In humans, most catabolism of L-lysine normally proceeds via a sequence of seven reactions which feeds into the pathway for fatty acid catabolism. In the first two reactions, catalyzed by a single enzyme complex, lysine is combined with alpha-ketoglutarate to form saccharopine, which in turn is cleaved and oxidized to yield glutamate and alpha-ketoadipic semialdehyde. The latter molecule is further oxidized to alpha-ketoadipate. Alpha-ketoadipate is oxidatively decarboxylated by the alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (the same enzyme complex responsible for the conversion of alpha-ketoglutarate to succinyl-CoA in the citric acid cycle), yielding glutaryl-CoA. Glutaryl-CoA is converted to crotonyl-CoA, crotonyl-CoA is converted to beta-hydroxybutyryl-CoA, and beta-hydroxybutyryl-CoA is converted to acetoacetyl-CoA. The products of lysine catabolism are thus exclusively ketogenic; i.e., under starvation conditions they can be used for the synthesis of ketone bodies, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate, but not for the net synthesis of glucose (Cox 2001; Goodman and Freeman 2001).

Literature References
PubMed ID Title Journal Year
12126930 Characterization of the human gene encoding alpha-aminoadipate aminotransferase (AADAT). Mol Genet Metab 2002
6434529 Familial hyperlysinemias. Purification and characterization of the bifunctional aminoadipic semialdehyde synthase with lysine-ketoglutarate reductase and saccharopine dehydrogenase activities. J Biol Chem 1984
  The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, 8th ed   2001
  The Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited Disease, 8th ed   2001
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