RGD Reference Report - Nicotinamide homeostasis: a xenobiotic pathway that is key to development and degenerative diseases. - Rat Genome Database

Send us a Message

Submit Data |  Help |  Video Tutorials |  News |  Publications |  Download |  REST API |  Citing RGD |  Contact   

Nicotinamide homeostasis: a xenobiotic pathway that is key to development and degenerative diseases.

Authors: Williams, AC  Ramsden, DB 
Citation: Williams AC and Ramsden DB, Med Hypotheses 2005;65(2):353-62.
RGD ID: 1359084
Pubmed: PMID:15922112   (View Abstract at PubMed)
DOI: DOI:10.1016/j.mehy.2005.01.042   (Journal Full-text)

Monkeys and man are very closely related genetically. Yet intellectually there are big differences and they suffer from a broad range of different diseases. For example, monkeys do not get Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease. The former is surprising given that both get parkinsonism from MPTP poisoning and the latter initially less surprising as the cortex predominantly affected in Alzheimer's never developed as fully in the monkey. Man is an omnivore whilst other primates are predominantly herbivores. The one primate who was almost wholly carnivorous was Neanderthal man who became extinct. Red meat has a high content of Nicotinamide, Choline, and methyl donors. The enzyme NNMT converts nicotinamide to N-methyl-nicotinamide using SAM as the methyl donor. It is not present to any degree in herbivores. It has recently been shown to be present in human brain and up regulated in Parkinson's disease. Omnivores presumably need it for nicotinamide homeostasis but the production of N-methyl-nicotinamide will also be beneficial as it will reduce the export of Choline from neurones. Both will aid brain growth and development. However, as N-methyl-nicotinamide resembles MPTP it could cause parkinsonism later in life for man but not monkeys as they would be predicted not to have as much NNMT. Humans with a diet low in Nicotinamide,Choline or methyl donors early in life and low enzyme activity may be prone to Alzheimer's as their brain and therefore its reserves may never have developed as fully. The possession of NNMT plus a diet rich in Nicotinamide, Choline and methyl providers may explain many of the advantages but also the disadvantages of the human condition. One prediction is that a diet rich in these micronutrients whilst young will improve brain development and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's but that a lower dose later in life will reduce the risk of Parkinsonism. A second prediction is that it will become clear that dietary factors including vitamins are signalers and at the head of vital biochemical pathways. A time point will be reached when errors emerge that could not be deleted by evolutionary pressures. Finding and rectifying them will be the key to preventing many common diseases.

Molecular Pathway Annotations    Click to see Annotation Detail View

RGD Manual Annotations

Object SymbolSpeciesTermQualifierEvidenceWithNotesSourceOriginal Reference(s)
NNMTHumanhomocysteine metabolic pathway   TAS  RGD 
NnmtRathomocysteine metabolic pathway   ISONNMT (Homo sapiens) RGD 
NNMTHumanmethionine cycle/metabolic pathway   TAS  RGD 
NnmtRatmethionine cycle/metabolic pathway   ISONNMT (Homo sapiens) RGD 
Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Nnmt  (nicotinamide N-methyltransferase)

Genes (Homo sapiens)
NNMT  (nicotinamide N-methyltransferase)

Additional Information