GAA deficiency: a new entity in clinical medicine
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA, also known as glycocyamine or betacyamine) is a naturally-occurring derivative of glycine and a direct metabolic precursor of creatine, a key player in high-phosphate cellular bioenergetics. GAA is found in human serum and urine, with circulating GAA likely reflects an equilibrium between its endogenous production and utilization/excretion. GAA deficiency (as indicated by low serum GAA) has been reported in various conditions yet this intriguing clinical entity appears to be poorly characterized as yet, either as a primary deficit or a sequel of secondary disease. This minireview article summarizes the inherited and acquired disorders with apparent GAA deficiency and discusses a possible relevance of GAA shortfall in clinical medicine.