Methionine (pronounced /m?'?a?.?ni?n, m?'?a?.?n?n/; abbreviated as Met or M) is an a-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCH(NH2)CH2CH2SCH3. This essential amino acid is classified as nonpolar. Together with cysteine, methionine is one of two sulfur-containing proteinogenic amino acids. Its derivative S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) serves as a methyl donor. Methionine is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of cysteine, carnitine, taurine, lecithin, phosphatidylcholine, and other phospholipids. Improper conversion of methionine can lead to atherosclerosis. This amino acid is also used by the Plants for synthesis of ethylene. The process is known as the Yang Cycle or the Methionine cycle. Methionine is one of only two amino acids encoded by a single codon (AUG) in the standard genetic code (tryptophan, encoded by UGG, is the other). The codon AUG is also the "Start" message for a ribosome that signals the initiation of protein translation from mRNA. As a consequence, methionine is incorporated into the N-terminal position of all proteins in eukaryotes and archaea during translation, although it is usually removed by post-translational modification.