Taurine and the Mitochondrion: Applications in the Pharmacotherapy of Human Diseases

Taurine: Synthesis, Dietary Sources, Homeostasis, and Cellular Compartmentalization

Author(s): Reza Heidari and M. Mehdi Ommati

Pp: 1-21 (21)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815124484123010003

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


 Taurine (β-amino acid ethane sulfonic acid; TAU) is a sulfur-containing amino acid abundant in the human body. Although TAU does not corporate in the protein structure, many vital physiological properties have been attributed to this amino acid. TAU could be synthesized endogenously in hepatocytes or come from nutritional sources. It has been found that the source of body TAU varies significantly between different species. For instance, some species, such as foxes and felines, are entirely dependent on the nutritional sources of TAU. On the other hand, TAU is readily synthesized in the liver of animals such as rats and dogs. The TAU synthesis capability of the human liver is negligible, and we receive this amino acid from food sources. The distribution of TAU also greatly varies between various tissues. Skeletal muscle and the heart tissue contain a very high concentration of TAU. At subcellular levels, mitochondria are the primary targets for TAU compartmentalization. It has been found that TUA also entered the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum. The current chapter discusses the synthetic process and dietary sources of TAU. Then, the transition of TAU to sub-cellular compartments will be addressed. Finally, the importance of TAU homeostasis in the pathogenesis of human disease is mentioned. 

Keywords: Amino acid, Food sources, Human disease, Mitochondrion, Mitochondrial cytopathies, Nutraceuticals, Nutrition.

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