N-Acetylaspartic acid

N-Acetylaspartic acid
IUPAC name
2-Acetamidobutanedioic acid[1]
2545-40-6 N
997-55-7 S YesY
3D model (Jmol) Interactive image
Interactive image
3DMet B00227
1726198 S
ChEBI CHEBI:21547 YesY
ChEMBL ChEMBL1162493 N
ChemSpider 88007 N
677387 R YesY
ECHA InfoCard 100.012.403
EC Number 219-827-5
KEGG C01042 N
MeSH N-acetylaspartate
PubChem 97508
774916 R
65065 S
RTECS number CI9098600
Molar mass 175.14 g·mol−1
Appearance Colourless, transparent crystals
Melting point 137 to 140 °C (279 to 284 °F; 410 to 413 K)
Boiling point 141 to 144 °C (286 to 291 °F; 414 to 417 K)
log P −2.209
Acidity (pKa) 3.142
Basicity (pKb) 10.855
S-phrases S22, S24/25
Related compounds
Related alkanoic acids
Related compounds
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
N verify (what is YesYN ?)
Infobox references

N-Acetylaspartic acid, or N-acetylaspartate (NAA), is a derivative of aspartic acid with a formula of C6H9NO5 and a molecular weight of 175.139.

NAA is the second-most-concentrated molecule in the brain after the amino acid glutamate. It is detected in the adult brain in neurons,[2] oligodendrocytes and myelin[3] and is synthesized in the mitochondria from the amino acid aspartic acid and acetyl-coenzyme A.[4]


The various functions served by NAA are under investigation, but the primary proposed functions include:

In the brain, NAA is thought to be present predominantly in neuronal cell bodies, where it acts as a neuronal marker.[5]


However, the recent discovery of a higher concentration of NAA in myelin and oligodendrocytes than in neurons raises questions about the validity of the use of NAA as a neuronal marker.[3] NAA gives off the largest signal in magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the human brain. The levels measured there are decreased in numerous neuropathological conditions ranging from brain injury to stroke to Alzheimer's disease. This fact makes NAA a potential diagnostic molecule for doctors treating patients with brain damage or disease.

NAA may be a marker of creativity.[6] High NAA levels in the hippocampus are related to better working memory performance in humans.[7]

NAA may function as a neurotransmitter in the brain by acting on metabotropic glutamate receptors.[8]

See also


  1. "N-acetylaspartate - Compound Summary". PubChem Compound. USA: National Center for Biotechnology Information. 26 March 2005. Identification. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  2. Simmons, ML; Frondoza, CG; Coyle, JT (1991). "Immunocytochemical localization of N-acetyl-aspartate with monoclonal antibodies.". Neuroscience. 45 (1): 37–45. doi:10.1016/0306-4522(91)90101-s. PMID 1754068.
  3. 1 2 Nordengen, K; Heuser, C; Rinholm, JE; Matalon, R; Gundersen, V (2015). "Localisation of N-acetylaspartate in oligodendrocytes/myelin.". Brain Struct Funct. 220 (2): 899–917. doi:10.1007/s00429-013-0691-7. PMID 24379086.
  4. Patel, T. B.; Clark, J. B. (1979). "Synthesis of N-acetyl-L-aspartate by rat brain mitochondria and its involvement in mitochondrial/cytosolic carbon transport". Biochem J. 184 (3): 539–46. PMC 1161835Freely accessible. PMID 540047.
  5. Chatham JC, Blackband SJ (2001). "Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging in animal research.". ILAR J. 42 (3): 189–208. doi:10.1093/ilar.42.3.189. PMID 11406719.
  6. Geddes, Linda. "Creativity chemical favours the smart".
  7. Kozlovskiy, S; Vartanov, A; Pyasik, M; Polikanova, I (2012). "Working memory and N-acetylaspartate level in hippocampus, parietal cortex and subventricular zone". International Journal of Psychology. 47: 584. doi:10.1080/00207594.2012.709117.
  8. Yan, Hai-Dun; Ishihara, Kumatoshi; Serikawa, Tadao; Sasa, Masashi (2003-09-01). "Activation by N-Acetyl-l-Aspartate of Acutely Dissociated Hippocampal Neurons in Rats via Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors". Epilepsia. 44 (9): 1153–1159. doi:10.1046/j.1528-1157.2003.49402.x. ISSN 1528-1167.

Further information

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