Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Patients with alcoholism and type 2 diabetes manifest altered metabolism, including elevated aldehyde levels and unusually low asparagine levels. We show that asparagine synthetase B (ASNS), the only human asparagine-forming enzyme, is inhibited by disease-relevant reactive aldehydes, including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Cellular studies show non-cytotoxic amounts of reactive aldehydes induce a decrease in asparagine levels. Biochemical analyses reveal inhibition results from reaction of the aldehydes with the catalytically important N-terminal cysteine of ASNS. The combined cellular and biochemical results suggest a possible mechanism underlying the low asparagine levels in alcoholism and diabetes. The results will stimulate research on the biological consequences of the reactions of aldehydes with nucleophilic residues.

Original publication




Journal article


Chem Sci

Publication Date





2509 - 2517