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Sarcosine is an endogenous GlyT1 inhibitor. Sarcosine displays antipsychotic activity and has the potential to treat schizophrenia. Sarcosine has been shown to potentiate the action of glycine on the NMDA glycine binding site.

DL-Amino Acids
Catalog number
CAS number
Molecular Formula
Molecular Weight
2-(methylamino)acetic acid
N-Methylglycine; Sarcosinic acid; Methylglycine; Glycine, N-methyl-
White to Off-White Solid
≥ 99% (Titration)
1.093 g/cm3
Melting Point
202-214 °C
Boiling Point
195.1ºC at 760 mmHg
Store at-20 °C
Soluble in Methanol, Water
InChI Key
Canonical SMILES
1.Characterization of the neuropsychological phenotype of glycine N-methyltransferase-/- mice and evaluation of its responses to clozapine and sarcosine treatments.
Yang CP;Wang HA;Tsai TH;Fan A;Hsu CL;Chen CJ;Hong CJ;Chen YM Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2012 Aug;22(8):596-606. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2011.12.007. Epub 2012 Jan 20.
Glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) affects cellular methylation capacity through regulating the ratio between S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH). The product of its enzymatic reaction-sarcosine has antipsychotic effect in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, through RT-PCR and immunohistochemical staining, we demonstrated that GNMT expressed in various neurons located in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, substantia nigra and cerebellum. Compared to the wild-type mice, Gnmt-/- mice had significantly lower level of sarcosine in the cerebral cortex. Real-time PCR identified genes involved in the methionine metabolism (Dnmt1 and Dnmt3a), ErbB (Nrg1 and ErbB4) and mTOR (Akt2, S6, S6k1 and S6k2) signaling pathways were dysregulated significantly in the cortex of Gnmt-/- mice. Acoustic startle reflex test demonstrated that Gnmt-/- mice had significantly lower level of prepulse inhibition and the deficit was ameliorated through clozapine or sarcosine treatment. Furthermore, liver-specific-human-GNMT transgenic with Gnmt-/- (Tg-GNMT/Gnmt-/-) mice were used to rule out that the phenotype was due to abnormal liver function. In summary, the neuropsychological abnormalities found in Gnmt-/- mice may represent an endophenotype of schizophrenia.
2.Effects of betaine on performance and body composition: a review of recent findings and potential mechanisms.
Cholewa JM;Guimarães-Ferreira L;Zanchi NE Amino Acids. 2014 Aug;46(8):1785-93. doi: 10.1007/s00726-014-1748-5. Epub 2014 Apr 24.
Betaine is a methyl derivative of glycine first isolated from sugar beets. Betaine consumed from food sources and through dietary supplements presents similar bioavailability and is metabolized to di-methylglycine and sarcosine in the liver. The ergogenic and clinical effects of betaine have been investigated with doses ranging from 500 to 9,000 mg/day. Some studies using animal models and human subjects suggest that betaine supplementation could promote adiposity reductions and/or lean mass gains. Moreover, previous investigations report positive effects of betaine on sports performance in both endurance- and resistance-type exercise, despite some conflicting results. The mechanisms underlying these effects are poorly understood, but could involve the stimulation of lipolysis and inhibition of lipogenesis via gene expression and subsequent activity of lipolytic-/lipogenic-related proteins, stimulation of autocrine/endocrine IGF-1 release and insulin receptor signaling pathways, stimulation of growth hormone secretion, increased creatine synthesis, increases in protein synthesis via intracellular hyper-hydration, as well as exerting psychological effects such as attenuating sensations of fatigue.
3.Degradation of Glyphosate by Mn-Oxide May Bypass Sarcosine and Form Glycine Directly after C-N Bond Cleavage.
Li H;Wallace AF;Sun M;Reardon P;Jaisi DP Environ Sci Technol. 2018 Feb 6;52(3):1109-1117. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b03692. Epub 2018 Jan 25.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient of the common herbicide Roundup. The increasing presence of glyphosate and its byproducts has raised concerns about its potential impact on the environment and human health. In this research, we investigated abiotic pathways of glyphosate degradation as catalyzed by birnessite under aerobic and neutral pH conditions to determine whether certain pathways have the potential to generate less harmful intermediate products. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were utilized to identify and quantify reaction products, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations were used to investigate the bond critical point (BCP) properties of the C-N bond in glyphosate and Mn(IV)-complexed glyphosate. We found that sarcosine, the commonly recognized precursor to glycine, was not present at detectable levels in any of our experiments despite the fact that its half-life (∼13.6 h) was greater than our sampling intervals. Abiotic degradation of glyphosate largely followed the glycine pathway rather than the AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) pathway. Preferential cleavage of the phosphonate adjacent C-N bond to form glycine directly was also supported by our BCP analysis, which revealed that this C-N bond was disproportionately affected by the interaction of glyphosate with Mn(IV).
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