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Biochemical and Clinical Aspects of the Human Flavin-Containing Monooxygenase Form 3 (FMO3) Related to Trimethylaminuria

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Trimethylaminuria is a rare metabolic disorder that is associated with abnormal amounts of the dietary-derived trimethylamine. Excess unmetabolized trimethylamine in the urine, sweat and other body secretions confers a strong, foul body odor that can affect the individual's ability to work or engage in social activities. This review summarizes the biochemical aspects of the condition and the classification of the disorder into: 1) primary genetic form, 2) acquired form, 3) childhood forms, 4) transient form associated with menstruation, 5) precursor overload and 6) disease states. The genetic variability of the flavin-containing monooxygenase (form 3) that is responsible for detoxication and deodoration of trimethylamine is discussed and put in context with other variant forms of the flavin-containing monooxygenase (forms 1-5). The temporal-selective expression of flavin-containing monooxygenase forms 1 and 3 is discussed in terms of an explanation for childhood trimethylaminuria. Information as to whether variants of the flavin-containing monooxygenase form 3 contributes to hypertension and / or other diseases are presented. Discussion is provided outlining recent bioanalytical approaches to quantify urinary trimethylamine and trimethylamine N-oxide and plasma choline as well as data on self-reporting individuals tested for trimethylaminuria. Finally, trimethylaminuria treatment strategies and nutritional support are described including dietary sources of trimethylamine, vitamin supplementation and drug treatment and issues related to trimethylaminuria in pregnancy and lactation are discussed. The remarkable progress in the biochemical, genetic, clinical basis for understanding the trimethylaminuria condition is summarized and points to needs in the treatment of individuals suffering from trimethylaminuria.

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Keywords: Human Flavin; Trimethylaminuria; bioanalytical; monooxygenase

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: April 1, 2003

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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