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Acta Biochim Pol. 2011;58(4):461-6. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Activity of selected aromatic amino acids in biological systems.

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Department of Medical Diagnostics, Jagiellonian University, Medical College, Kraków, Poland.


Besides the structural function in proteins, aromatic amino acids are precursors of many important biological compounds essential for normal functioning of the human organism. Many of these compounds may be used as markers for identification of specific pathological states. Comprehensive knowledge about the metabolism of aromatic amino acids and mechanisms of action of their metabolites made it possible to develop effective treatments for many disorders. However, it should not be forgotten that in some pathological conditions, these compounds could not only be involved in the pathogenesis of many disease entities but could also be used as an important tool in prediction of many diseases. This paper contains a review of published literature on aromatic amino acids in the context of physiological processes of the human body and chosen social disorders, such as cancers; psychiatric disorders: depression, anxiety states, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorders; neurodegenerative, and cardiovascular diseases; chronic kidney insufficiency or diabetes.

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