Reactome: A Curated Pathway Database

Lysine catabolism (R-HSA-71064) [Homo sapiens]


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).

Additional Information
GO Biological Process lysine catabolic process (0006554)