The second life of methylarginines as cardiovascular targets

Natalia Jarzebska, Arduino A. Mangoni, Jens Martens-Lobenhoffer, Stefanie M. Bode-Böger, Roman N. Rodionov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Endogenous methylarginines were proposed as cardiovascular risk factors more than two decades ago, however, so far, this knowledge has not led to the development of novel therapeutic approaches. The initial studies were primarily focused on the endogenous inhibitors of nitric oxide synthases asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and monomethylarginine (MMA) and the main enzyme regulating their clearance dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1 (DDAH1). To date, all the screens for DDAH1 activators performed with the purified recombinant DDAH1 enzyme have not yielded any promising hits, which is probably the main reason why interest towards this research field has started to fade. The relative contribution of the second DDAH isoenzyme DDAH2 towards ADMA and MMA clearance is still a matter of controversy. ADMA, MMA and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) are also metabolized by alanine: glyoxylate aminotransferase 2 (AGXT2), however, in addition to methylarginines, this enzyme also has several cardiovascular protective substrates, so the net effect of possible therapeutic targeting of AGXT2 is currently unclear. Recent studies on regulation and functions of the enzymes metabolizing methylarginines have given a second life to this research direction. Our review discusses the latest discoveries and controversies in the field and proposes novel directions for targeting methylarginines in clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4592
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


  • 6-guanidino-2- oxocaproic acid (GOCA)
  • Alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 2 (AGXT2)
  • Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA)
  • Asymmetric α-keto-dimethylguanidinovaleric acid (ADGV)
  • Beta-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA)
  • Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH)
  • Homoarginine
  • Symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA)
  • Symmetric α-ketodimethylguanidinovaleric acid (SDGV)


Dive into the research topics of 'The second life of methylarginines as cardiovascular targets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this