Causes of hyperhomocysteinemia and its pathological significance

Jihyun Kim, Hyunhee Kim, Heewon Roh, Youngjoo Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


In the last 10 years, homocysteine has been regarded as a marker of cardiovascular disease and a definite risk factor for many other diseases. Homocysteine is biosynthesized from methionine through multiple steps and then goes through one of two major metabolic pathways: remethylation and transsulfuration. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a state in which too much homocysteine is present in the body. The main cause of hyperhomocysteinemia is a dysfunction of enzymes and cofactors associated with the process of homocysteine biosynthesis. Other causes include excessive methionine intake, certain diseases and side effects of some drugs. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a trigger for many diseases, such as atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, age-related macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss. There are many studies showing a positive relationship between homocysteine level and various symptoms. We speculate that a high level of homocysteine can be the sole reason or an aggravating factor in numerous diseases for which causal links are not fully understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-383
Number of pages12
JournalArchives of Pharmacal Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This study was supported by a Grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C2469).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea.


  • Disease caused by hyperhomocysteinemia
  • Homocysteine
  • Hyperhomocysteinemia


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