Send to

Choose Destination
J Nutr. 2011 May;141(5):835-42. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.134197. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Moderate vitamin B-6 restriction does not alter postprandial methionine cycle rates of remethylation, transmethylation, and total transsulfuration but increases the fractional synthesis rate of cystathionine in healthy young men and women.

Author information

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0370, USA.


Methionine is the precursor for S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the major 1-carbon donor involved in >100 transmethylation reactions. Homocysteine produced from SAM must be metabolized either by remethylation for recycling of methionine or transsulfuration to form cystathionine and then cysteine. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) serves as a coenzyme in enzymes involved in transsulfuration as well as for primary acquisition of 1-carbon units used for remethylation and other phases of 1-carbon metabolism. Because the intake of vitamin B-6 is frequently low in humans and metabolic consequences of inadequacy may be amplified in the postprandial state, we aimed to determine the effects of marginal vitamin B-6 deficiency on the postprandial rates of remethylation, transmethylation, overall transsulfuration, and cystathionine synthesis. Healthy, young adults (4 male, 5 female; 20-35 y) received a primed, constant infusion of [1-(13)C]methionine, [methyl-(2)H(3)]methionine, and [5,5,5-(2)H(3)]leucine to quantify in vivo kinetics at normal vitamin B-6 status and after a 28-d dietary vitamin B-6 restriction. Vitamin B-6 restriction lowered the plasma PLP concentration from 49 ± 4 nmol/L (mean ± SEM) to 19 ± 2 nmol/L (P < 0.0001). Mean remethylation, transsulfuration, and transmethylation rates did not change in response to vitamin B-6 restriction; however, the responses to vitamin B-6 restriction varied greatly among individuals. The plasma cystathionine concentration increased from 142 ± 8 to 236 ± 9 nmol/L (P < 0.001), whereas the fractional cystathionine synthesis rate increased by a mean of 12% in 8 of 9 participants. Interrelationships among plasma concentrations of glycine and cystathionine and kinetic results suggest that individual variability occurs in normal postprandial 1-carbon metabolism and in the response to vitamin B-6 restriction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center