Lysine was discovered in 1889 by Drechsel, who first isolated it from casein (milk protein). Three years later, its structure was elucidated. Then, Vickery and Leavenworth prepared crystalline lysine in 1928. Finally, Fischer and Weigert accomplished the synthesis of lysine by treating 7-cyanopropylmalonic ester with nitrous acid.

Chemical Structure of L-Lysine

Structure of Lysine

Identifiers and properties of Lysine

IUPAC Name: (2S)-2,6-Diaminohexanoic acid
Symbol: Three-letter code - Lys. One-letter code - K
Molecular Weight (Molar Mass): 146.18756 g/mol
Molecular Formula (Structural Formula): C6H14N2O2
Canonical SMILES: C(CCN)CC(C(=O)O)N
Isomeric SMILES: C(CCN)C[C@@H](C(=O)O)N
CAS Number: 56-87-1
MDL Number: MFCD00064433
Melting point: 215 °C
Solubility in water: 1500 g/L (25 °C); pKa - 2,18; pKb - 8,95
2D Molfile: Get the molfile
3D PDB file: Get the PDB file
Other names: alpha-Lysine; (+)-S-Lysine; (S)-2,6-Diamino-hexanoic acid

What are the functions of the Lysine?

Lysine is recognized as an amino acid necessary as a building block for all proteins in your body. It plays a major role in calcium absorption, as well as in helping building muscle protein. Besides, Lysine aids in recovering from surgery or traumas and helps your body produce hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. This amino acid was also proved to depress the central nervous system while having antiseizure properties.

Lysine is an essential amino acid, implying that it is important for human health, though our body cannot produce it. Therefore, it has to be obtained from food. Lysine is a type of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins. It is vital for proper growth and plays an important role in the production of carnitine, which is a nutrient that transforms fatty acids into energy and lowers cholesterol levels. In addition, this amino acid is proved to help the human body absorb calcium, while playing an essential role in the formation of collagen - a substance necessary for both bones and connective tissues like skin, cartilage, and tendon.

Naturally, people obtain enough Lysine from foods, but athletes, vegans, and people who do not like beans may need more. A lack of Lysine in the body can cause such symptoms as slow growth, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and even reproductive disorders. Vegans are recommended to consume more legumes like beans, peas, and lentils to obtain enough Lysine.

Benefits of Lysine

There are numerous studies proving that Lysine may help prevent outbreaks of cold sores and genital herpes. Other studies revealed that it helps the body absorb calcium and decrease the amount of calcium lost in urine. Since calcium is essential for bone health, you can conclude that Lysine may help prevent the bone loss caused by osteoporosis.