Is Homoarginine a Protective Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

Article: Is Homoarginine a Protective Cardiovascular Risk Factor?

Authors: Ekaterina S. Karetnikova, Natalia Jarzebska, Alexander G. Markov, Norbert Weiss, Steven R. Lentz, Roman N. Rodionov

Journal: Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2019 Mar 14:ATVBAHA118312218

A series of recent epidemiological studies have implicated the endogenous nonproteinogenic amino acid l-homoarginine as a novel candidate cardiovascular risk factor. The association between homoarginine levels and the risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes is inverse (ie, high cardiovascular risk is predicted by low rather than high homoarginine levels), which makes it plausible to normalize systemic homoarginine levels via oral supplementation. The emergence of homoarginine as a potentially treatable protective cardiovascular risk factor has generated a wave of hope in the field of cardiovascular prevention. Herein, we review the biochemistry, physiology, and metabolism of homoarginine, summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the epidemiological evidence linking homoarginine to cardiovascular disease and its potential protective cardiovascular effects, and identify priorities for future research needed to define the clinical utility of homoarginine as a prognostic factor and therapeutic target in cardiovascular disease.

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