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01.12.2018 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Cardiovascular Diabetology 1/2018

Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) and homoarginine (hArg): the ADMA, SDMA and hArg paradoxes

Zeitschrift:
Cardiovascular Diabetology > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Dimitrios Tsikas, Alexander Bollenbach, Erik Hanff, Arslan Arinc Kayacelebi

Abstract

NG-Methylation of l-arginine (Arg) residues in certain proteins by protein arginine methyltransferases and subsequent proteolysis yields NG-monomethyl-l-arginine (MMA), NG,NG-dimethyl-l-arginine (asymmetric dimethylarginine, ADMA) and NG,NG-dimethyl-l-arginine (symmetric dimethylarginine, SDMA). Biological MMA, ADMA and SDMA occur as free acids in the nM-range and as residues of proteins of largely unknown quantity. Arginine:glycine amidinotransferase (AGAT) catalyzes the synthesis of L-homoarginine (hArg) from free Arg and l-lysine. Biological hArg is considered to occur exclusively as free acid in the lower µM-range. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) catalyzes the conversion of Arg (high affinity) and hArg (low affinity) to nitric oxide (NO) which is a pleiotropic signaling molecule. MMA, ADMA and SDMA are inhibitors (MMA > ADMA ≫ SDMA) of NOS activity. Slightly elevated ADMA and SDMA concentrations and slightly reduced hArg concentrations in the circulation are associated with many diseases including diabetes mellitus. Yet, this is paradox: (1) free ADMA and SDMA are weak inhibitors of endothelial NOS (eNOS) which is primarily responsible for NO-related effects in the cardiovascular system, with free hArg being a poor substrate for eNOS; (2) free ADMA, SDMA and hArg are not associated with oxidative stress which is considered to induce NO-related endothelial dysfunction. This ADMA/SDMA/hArg paradox may be solved by the assumption that not the free acids but their precursor proteins exert biological effects in the vasculature, with hArg antagonizing the effects of NG-methylated proteins.
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