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J Nutr. 1998 Aug;128(8):1342-8.

Threonine and methionine are limiting amino acids for protein synthesis in patients with AIDS.

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Service des Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, 63003 Clermont-Ferrand, France.


This study was conducted to identify the most rate-limiting amino acids for whole-body protein synthesis in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients. We postulated that an essential amino acid that would be rate limiting in AIDS should have a low basal plasma concentration and should remain at a low level during amino acid infusion. Seven male AIDS patients (median age 37 y, CD4 cell count: 76 mm-3) without any clinically active opportunistic infection during the month before the experiment were infused intravenously with a complete amino acid-glucose mixture for 2.5 h. Eight healthy volunteers were used as controls. Before the infusion, the concentrations of most free essential amino acids (methionine, threonine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine and tryptophan) were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in AIDS patients than in controls. Most plasma free essential amino acids increased significantly during infusion. However, the absolute increase above basal levels for threonine, valine, lysine, (P < 0.05) and methionine (P < 0.073) was smaller in AIDS patients than in control subjects. Thus, threonine and possibly methionine may be rate limiting for whole-body protein synthesis in AIDS patients, suggesting that there are selective amino acid requirements in patients with AIDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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