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Taurine and Its Chloramine: Modulators of Immunity* Georgia B. Schuller-Levis,1,2

Summary: 117
Taurine and Its Chloramine: Modulators of Immunity*
Georgia B. Schuller-Levis,1,2
and Eunkyue Park1
(Accepted May 12, 2003)
Taurine is a semiessential amino acid that is not incorporated into proteins. In mammalian tissues,
taurine is ubiquitous and is the most abundant free amino acid in the heart, retina, skeletal muscle,
and leukocytes. Taurine reaches up to 50 mM concentration in leukocytes. Taurine has been shown
to be tissue-protective in many models of oxidant-induced injury. One possibility is that taurine
reacts with HOCl, produced by the myeloperoxidase (MPO) pathway, to produce the more stable
but less toxic taurine chloramine (Tau-Cl). However, data from several laboratories demonstrate that
Tau-Cl is a powerful regulator of the immune system. Specifically, Tau-Cl has been shown to down-
regulate the production of proinflammatory mediators in both rodent and human leukocytes. Recent
molecular studies on the function of taurine provide evidence that taurine is a constituent of bio-
logical macromolecules. Specifically, two novel taurine-containing modified uridines have been found
in both human and bovine mitrochondria. In studies on mechanism of action, Tau-Cl inhibits the
activation of NF B, a potent signal transducer for inflammatory cytokines, by oxidation of I B at
. Taurine transporter knockout mice show reduced taurine, reduced fertility, and loss of
vision resulting from severe retinal degeneration, which was found to be due to apoptosis. Apopto-


Source: Aris, John P. - Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Florida


Collections: Biology and Medicine