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Lysine (abbreviated as Lys or K)[2] is an ?-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCH(NH2)(CH2)4NH2. Common posttranslational modifications include methylation of the ?-amino group, giving methyl-, dimethyl-, and trimethyllysine.
As an essential amino acid, lysine is not synthesized in animals, hence it must be ingested as lysine or lysine-containing proteins. L-aspartate is first converted to L-aspartyl-4-phosphate by aspartokinase (or Aspartate kinase).
?-Aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase converts this into ?-aspartyl-4-semialdehyde (or ?-aspartate-4-semialdehyde).
Dihydrodipicolinate synthase adds a pyruvate group to the ?-aspartyl-4-semialdehyde, and two water molecules are removed. This product is reduced to 2,3,4,5-tetrahydrodipicolinate (or ?1-piperidine-2,6-dicarboxylate, in the figure: (S)-2,3,4,5-tetrahydropyridine-2,6-dicarboxylate) by dihydrodipicolinate reductase. Tetrahydrodipicolinate N-acetyltransferase opens this ring and gives rise to N-succinyl-L-2-amino-6-oxoheptanedionate (or N-acyl-2-amino-6-oxopimelate). N-succinyl-L-2-amino-6-oxoheptanedionate is converted into N-succinyl-LL-2,6-diaminoheptanedionate (N-acyl-2,6-diaminopimelate).
N-succinyl-LL-2,6-diaminoheptanedionate (N-acyl-2,6-diaminopimelate)is converted into LL-2,6-diaminoheptanedionate (L,L-2,6-diaminopimelate) by succinyl diaminopimelate desuccinylase (acyldiaminopimelate deacylase). LL-2,6-diaminoheptanedionate is converted by diaminopimelate epimerase into meso-2,6-diamino-heptanedionate (meso-2,6-diaminopimelate). Finally, meso-2,6-diamino-heptanedionate is converted into L-lysine by diaminopimelate decarboxylase.
Lysine is metabolised in mammals to give acetyl-CoA, via an initial transamination with ?-ketoglutarate. Lysine is the limiting amino acid (the essential amino acid found in the smallest quantity in the particular foodstuff) in most cereal grains, but is plentiful in most pulses (legumes).[11] Consequently, meals that combine cereal grains and legumes, such as the Indian dal with rice, Middle Eastern hummus, ful medames, falafel with pita bread, the Mexican beans with rice or tortilla have arisen to provide complete protein in diets that are, by choice or by necessity, vegetarian. It has been suggested that lysine may be beneficial for those with herpes simplex infections.[31] However, more research is needed to fully substantiate this claim. Lysine has a known anxiolytic action through its effects on serotonin receptors in the intestinal tract.
Human studies have also shown negative correlations between reduced lysine intake and anxiety.
While chemically insignificant to lysine itself, it is worth noting that lysine is attached to dextroamphetamine to form the prodrug lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse).
According to animal studies, lysine deficiency causes immunodeficiency.[36] One cause of relative lysine deficiency is cystinuria, where there is impaired hepatic resorption of basic, or positively charged amino acids, including lysine. The 1993 film Jurassic Park, which is based on the 1990 Michael Crichton novel Jurassic Park, features dinosaurs that were genetically altered so that they could not produce lysine.[40] This was known as the "lysine contingency," and was supposed to prevent the cloned dinosaurs from surviving outside the park, forcing them to be dependent on lysine supplements provided by the park's veterinary staff.
In 1996, lysine became the focus of a price-fixing case, the largest in United States history. Look at the diagram for Lysine, you will notice a blue area with NH2, which is a amine group. Shortterm treatment with acyclovir can accelerate the healing of an acute outbreak, and continuous acyclovir therapy is often prescribed for people with frequent recurrences. While this drug can reduce the recurrence rate by 60-90 percent, it can also cause a wide array of side effects, including renal failure, hepatitis, and anaphylaxis. There is evidence that certain dietary modifications and natural substances may be useful for treating active Herpes simplex lesions or preventing recurrences. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections of the skin are caused by one of two viruses (HSV-1 or HSV-2). Herpes simplex 1 and 2 are members of the herpes virus family, Herpesviridae, that infect humans.

Symptoms of herpes simplex virus infection include watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth, lips or genitals.
As neurotropic and neuroinvasive viruses, HSV-1 and -2 persist in the body by becoming latent and hiding from the immune system in the cell bodies of neurons.
After a primary infection, the virus travels to a nerve cell ganglion where it persists in a dormant phase. While Herpes simplex can occur in seemingly healthy people, patients with cancer, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and other diseases associated with impaired immune function are especially prone to such infections. For that reason, a comprehensive prevention and treatment plan should include measures designed to enhance immune function. As an essential amino-acid, lysine is not synthesized in animals, hence it must be ingested as lysine or lysine-containing proteins.
The nutritional requirement per day, in milligrams of lysine per kilogram of body weight, is: infants (3–4 months) 103, children (2 years) 64, older children (10–12 years) 60 to 44.
Good sources of lysine are high-protein foods such as eggs, meat (specifically red meat, lamb, pork).
The proteins synthesized by HSV contain more arginine and less lysine than proteins synthesized by host cells, and arginine is required for HSV replication. The synthesis of enzymes necessary for the synthesis of viral DNA is not affected in the absence of arginine. Genetic information required for the early enzymes necessary for the synthesis of DNA polymerase, as well as the inhibitors of cellular nucleic acid synthesis, are not affected in the absence of arginine. These observations raise the possibility that increasing either absolute lysine intake or the ratio of lysine-to-arginine intake would be of value for the prevention and treatment of Herpes simplex infections.
Forty-five patients with frequently recurring Herpes simplex infections received lysine (usually 312-1,200 mg per day) for periods of two months to three years. Nine patients with recurrent Herpes simplex infections received 500 mg per day lysine hydrochloride and reduced their intake of high-arginine foods. Forty-one patients with recurrent Herpes simplex infections were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, lysine hydrochloride (624 or 1,248 mg per day) or placebo for 24 weeks, and then the alternate treatment for an additional 24 weeks. One hundred-fourteen patients with recurrent orofacial or genital herpes, or both, were randomly assigned to receive, in double-blind fashion, 1 g lysine hydrochloride three times daily or placebo for six months; 52 patients completed the trial. These studies suggest that lysine supplementation reduces the recurrence rate of Herpes simplex infections. The effectiveness of lysine may vary according to the dosage used, the lysine and arginine content of the diet, and the efficiency of lysine absorption, which appears to vary from person to person. The optimal lysine dose for Herpes simplex prophylaxis is not known, but a reasonable dosage range is 500-3,000 mg daily. Doses up to 6 g per day are said to be safe, but long-term toxicity studies have not been conducted in humans. By comparison, the estimated dietary lysine requirement for a 70 kg human is in the range of 800-3,000 mg per day.
Lysine intake can be increased by increasing consumption of lysine-rich foods, such as legumes and animal proteins, and reducing intake of lysine-poor foods such as grains and refined sugars. Short-term administration of 1-3 g lysine daily has been found to reduce the duration of attacks, with higher doses being more effective than lower doses. Some patients report that eating arginine-rich foods such as chocolate, nuts, and seeds causes them to experience herpes outbreaks, but the importance of dietary arginine as a causative factor has not been investigated scientifically. In summary, these studies suggest that lysine supplementation may be helpful in reducing the rate of recurrence for HSV infections, especially when accompanied by a high-lysine, low-arginine diet.
The ?-amino group often participates in hydrogen bonding and as a general base in catalysis. It is produced by the actions of the enzyme lysyl oxidase on lysine in the extracellular matrix and is essential in the crosslink formation that stabilizes collagen and elastin.

One study on rats[32] showed that overstimulation of the 5-HT4 receptors in the gut are associated with anxiety-induced intestinal pathology. A population-based study in Syria included 93 families whose diet is primarily grain-based and therefore likely to be deficient in lysine.
In the gastrointestinal tract, the lysine molecule is cleaved from the dextroamphetamine, thereby making oral administration necessary.
The accompanying urinary cysteine results because the same deficient amino acid transporter is normally present in the kidney as well.
The Archer Daniels Midland Company paid a fine of US$100 million, and three of its executives were convicted and served prison time. The Biology Project, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Arizona. The lesions caused by this infection are often painful, burning, or pruritic, and tend to recur in most patients.
Cutaneous Herpes simplex is characterized by painful, burning, or pruritic clusters of vesicles on the lips, oral mucous membranes, genital region, or other areas of the body. Various factors such as sun exposure, abrasion of the skin, fever, stress, fatigue, or menstruation can reactivate the virus, resulting in a recurrence at the site of the original infection.
The structure of herpes viruses consists of a relatively large double-stranded, linear DNA genome encased within an icosahedral protein cage called the capsid, which is wrapped in a lipid bilayer called the envelope. Immune system deficiencies that are more subtle, but not necessarily associated with a serious disease, might also increase the risk of experiencing Herpes simplex infections. This indicates that arginine is essential for the synthesis of the viral coat proteins and is incorporated into them. Arginine is necessary for the expression of the late viral functions concerned with the synthesis of viral coat proteins.
In comparison with past experiences, recurrences were less frequent, less severe, and of shorter duration. Other posttranslational modifications at lysine residues include acetylation and ubiquitination. A glutaric acid molecule is used in this reaction and an oxoacid is produced as a byproduct. Lysine, acting as a serotonin antagonist and therefore reducing the overactivity of these receptors, reduced signs of anxiety and anxiety-induced diarrhea in the sample population.
While both of these groups, Amines and Carboxylic acids both have other unique properties, they could potential be a branching site for protien connections.
HSV infection of the eye results in keratoconjunctivitis, a serious condition that sometimes leads to corneal blindness.
When arginine is absent, the viral messenger RNA is present in the cytoplasm, probably in association with the cytoplasmic ribosomes, but lacks the ability to continue protein synthesis.
Lesion formation was invariably associated with high arginine intake 12-36 hours previously. In the high-dose group, there were significantly fewer recurrences during the lysine period than during the placebo period. Lysine was significantly more effective than placebo in terms of frequency and severity of lesions and healing time.
HSV may also cause encephalitis or other systemic infections, particularly in immunocompromised patients.
O-Glycosylation of hydroxylysine residues in the endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi apparatus is used to mark certain proteins for secretion from the cell.

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