(bile acid conjugation, neuronal cell development, regulation membrane potential, calcium transport, antioxidant)

Figure 2 Specific functions of sulfur-containing amino acids.

and may act as an antioxidant. Moreover, taurine is an osmolyte by virtue of the fact that through its transporter its intracellular concentrations are between 50 and100-fold higher than in the extracellular compartment. This gradient contributes to the maintenance of the cellular hydration state. Similarly, it has been proposed that taurine is involved in stabilization of cell membrane potential and regulation of Ca2+ transport through several calcium-ion channels. Based upon these characteristics it has been suggested that taurine is involved in the control of cardiac muscle cell contraction, which has led to the addition of taurine to commercially available energy drinks. Its high level in lymphocytes suggests an important role in immunological resistance to infections. Taurine plays an important part in the development and maintenance of neuronal and especially retinal cells.

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