The Sulfur-Containing Amino Acid Pathway in Normal and Malignant Cell Growth

  • S. I. Baskin
  • K. Wakayama
  • T. Knight
  • J. H. Jepson
  • E. C. Besa
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 139)


Taurine is a highly acidic sulfur-containing amino acid which is not incorporated into protein, but appears to be an end product of methionine metabolism. Its high acidity (pKa 1.5 or less) and its oxidized nature suggest that by normal mechanisms it might be a readily excreted molecule and, thus, not to found in wide abundance. However, taurine is found to be widely distributed in animal tissues, especially during periods of cellular growth (15).


Precursor Amino Acid Sulfonyl Chloride Taurine Concentration Taurine Uptake L12l0 Cell 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Baskin, S.I., Howell, R.R., Stinman, H., Smeraski, P., and Besa, E.C., 1978, Proliferation and growth-related changes in concentration of taurine in L1210 leukemia cells, Fed. Proc., 37: 680.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baskin, S.T., Zaydon, P.T., Kendrick, Z.V., Katz, T.C., and Orr, P.L., 1980, Pharmacokinetic studies of taurine in bovine Purkinje fibers, Circ. Res., 47: 763–769.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Benson, J.R., and Hare, P.E., 1975, 0-phthalaldehyde:fluorogenic detection of primary amines in the picomole range. Comparison with fluorescamine and ninhydrin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 72: 619–622.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Berlowitz, L., Kitchen, R., and Pallotta, D., 1972, Histone and RNA synthesis: selective binding of histones by a synthetic polyanion in calf thymus nuclei, Biochem. Biophys. Acta., 262: 160–168.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bradford, M.M., 1976, A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding, Analytical Biochem., 72: 248–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Brigham, M.P., Stein, W.H., and Moore, S., 1960, The concentrations of cysteine and cystine in human blood plasma, J. Clin. Invest., 39: 1633.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chambon, P., Ramuz, M., Mandel, P„ and Doly, J., 1968, The influence of ionic strength and a polyanion on transcription in vivo, I. Stimulation of the aggregate RNA polymerase from rat liver nuclei, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 157: 504.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chatagner, F., Hirsch, A., Durieu-Trautmann, O., and Rairi,M.C., 1969, Activities of cystathionase, cystine sulphinic acid decarboxylase and serine dehydrase in the liver of tumor-bearing rats, Experientia, 25: 2077–2078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Christensen, H.N., Hess, B., and Riggs, T.R., 1954, Concentration of taurine ß-alanine and tri-iodothyronine by ascites tumor cells, Cancer Res., 14: 124–127.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Foley, G.E., Barell, E.F., Adams, R.A., and Lazarus, H., 1969, Nutritional requirements of human leukemic cells, Exp. Cell. Res., 57: 129.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Glade, L.M., Greene, H.L., and Bikel, L., 1979, a-cystathionase in normal and leukemic cells, Cancer Treat. Rep., 63: 1081.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Green, J.P., and Day, M., 1963, Biosynthetic pathways in mastocytoma cells in culture and in vivo, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 103: 334–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Holubek, V., Fanshier, L., and Crocker, T.T., 1966, The inhibition of nuclear RNA synthesis by added RNA, Exp. Cell. Res., 44: 362.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Inglehart, J.D., York, R.M., Modes, A.P., Lazarus, H., and Livingston, D.M., 1977, Cystine-requirements of continuous human lymphoid cell lines of normal and leukemic origin, J. Biol. Chem., 252: 7184–7191.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jacobsen, G., and Smith, L.H., Jr., 1968, Biochemistry and physiology of taurine and taurine derivatives, Physiol. Rev., 48: 424–511.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kinoshita, S., 1971, Heparin as a possible initiator of genomic RNA synthesis in the early development of sea urchin embryos, Exp. Cell. Res., 64:403Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Kissane, J.M., and Robins, E., 1958, The fluorometric measurement of the deoxyribonucleic acid in animal tissues with special reference to the central nervous system, J. Biol. Chem., 233: 184–188.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kittredge, J.S., and Roberts, E., 1969, A carbon-phosphorous bound in nature, Science, 164: 37–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kraemer, R.J., and Coffey, D.S., 1970, The interaction of natural and synthetic polyanions with mammalian nuclei. I. DNA synthesis, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 224: 553.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kries, W., 1979, Tumor therapy by deprivation of L-methionine: rationale and results, Cancer Treat. Rep., 63: 1069–1072.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kries, W., and Hession, C., 1973, Biological effects of enzymatic deprivation of L-methionine in cell culture and an experimental tumor, Cancer Res., 33: 1866–1869.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lazarus, H., Burell, E., Oppenheim, S., and Krishan, A., 1974, Divergent properties of two human lymphocytic cell lines isolated from a single specimen of peripheral blood, In Vitro, 9: 303.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Leffert, H.L., 1980, Growth regulation by ion fluxes, Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci., 339: 1–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lin, J., and Chang, J., 1975, Chromophoric labeling of amino acids with 4-dimethylaminoazobenzene-4’-sulfonyl chloride, Anal. Chem., 47: 1634–1638.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Livingston, D., Ferguson, C., Gollogly, R., and Lazarus, H.,1976, Accumulation of cystine auxotrophic thymocytes accompany-ing type G viral leukemogenesis in the mouse, Cell., 7: 41.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Metcalf, D., Brumby, M., 1967, Coulter counter analysis of lymphoma differentiation pattern in AKR mice in the lymphoid leukemia, Int. J. Cancer, 2: 37.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ohnuma, T., Waligunda, J., and Holland, J.F., 1971, Amino acid requirements in vitro of human leukemic cells, Cancer Res., 31: 1640–1644.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Piez, K.A., and Eagle, H., 1958, The free amino acid pool of cultured human cells, J. Biol. Chem., 231: 533–545.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rouser, G., Samuels, A.J., Kinugasa, K., Jelinek, B., and Heller, D., Free amino acids in the blood of man and animals, in: “Amino Acid Pools,” J.T. Holder, ed., Elsevier, New York (1962).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schrier, B.K., and Thompson, E.J., 1974, On the role of glial cells in the mammalian nervous system; uptake, excretion, and metabolism of putative neurotransmitters by cultured tumor cells, J. Biol. Chem., 249: 1769–1780.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Uren, J.K., and Jazama, H., 1975, Enzymatic approaches to cystine depletion therapy, Proc. Am. Assoc. Cancer Res., and ASCO, 16: 144.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Uren, J.R., and Lazarus, H., 1979, L-cysteine requirements of malignant cells and progress toward depletion therapy, Cancer Treat. Rep., 63: 1073.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Wakayama, K., Besa, E.C., Jepson, J.H., Nade, V., Melin, J., and Baskin, S.I., 1979, Cell volume and chemical analysis of L1210 cells, Expt. Hematol., 7 (6): 70.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Weisberger, A.S., and Levine, B., 1954, Incorporation of radioactive L-cystine by normal and leukemic leukocytes in vivo, Blood, 9: 1082.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Weisberger, A.S., and Suhrland, L.G., 1956, The effect of selenium cystine on leukemia, Blood, 9: 19.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Weisberger, A.S., Suhrland, L.G., and Griggs, R.C., 1954, Incorporation of radioactive L-cystine and L-methionine by leukemic leukocytes in vitro, Blood, 9: 1095.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Weisberger, A.S., Suhrland, L.G., and Seifter, J., 1956, Some structural requirements for inhibiting the incorporation of radioactive L-cystine by leukemic leukocytes, Blood, 11: 1.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Yamaguchi, K., Shigehisa, S., Sakakibara, S., Hosokawa, Y., and Ueda, I., 1975, Cysteine metabolism in vivo of vitamin B6-deficient rats, Biochim. Biophys. Acta., 381: 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. I. Baskin
    • 1
  • K. Wakayama
    • 2
  • T. Knight
    • 1
  • J. H. Jepson
    • 3
  • E. C. Besa
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Pharmacology and MedicineThe Medical College of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Showa University School of MedicineYokohamaJapan
  3. 3.City of Hope Medical CenterDuarteUSA

Personalised recommendations