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Record Information
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2015-03-09 23:54:16 UTC
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Metabolite Identification
Common NameCarnosine
DescriptionCarnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) is found exclusively in animal tissues. It is a dipeptide of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine. Carnosine has the potential to suppress many of the biochemical changes (e.g., protein oxidation, glycation, AGE formation, and cross-linking) that accompany aging and associated pathologies (PMID 16804013 ). It is highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissues. Some autistics patients take it as a dietary supplement, and attribute an improvement in their condition to it. Supplemental carnosine may increase corticosterone levels. This may explain the "hyperactivity" seen in autistic subjects at higher doses. Carnosine also exhibits some antioxidant effects. The antioxidant mechanism of carnosine is attributed to its chelating effect against metal ions, superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activity, ROS and free radicals scavenging ability (PMID 16406688 ).
  1. b-Alanyl-L-histidine
  2. b-Alanylhistidine
  3. beta-Alanyl-L-histidine
  4. beta-Alanylhistidine
  5. Carnosine
  6. Ignotine
  7. Karnozin
  8. Karnozzn
  9. L-Carnosine
  10. N-(3-Aminopropanoyl)histidine
  11. N-(b-Alanyl)-L-histidine
  12. N-b-Alanyl-L-Histidine
  13. N-beta-Alanyl-L-Histidine
  14. Sevitin
Chemical FormulaC9H14N4O3
Average Molecular Weight226.2325
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight226.106590334
IUPAC Name(2S)-2-(3-aminopropanamido)-3-(1H-imidazol-5-yl)propanoic acid
Traditional Nameβ-alanyl-L-histidine
CAS Registry Number305-84-0
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as hybrid peptides. These are compounds containing at least two different types of amino acids (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) linked to each other through a peptide bond.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic acids and derivatives
ClassCarboxylic acids and derivatives
Sub ClassAmino acids, peptides, and analogues
Direct ParentHybrid peptides
Alternative Parents
  • Hybrid peptide
  • N-acyl-aliphatic-alpha amino acid
  • N-acyl-alpha amino acid or derivatives
  • N-acyl-alpha-amino acid
  • Alpha-amino acid or derivatives
  • Imidazolyl carboxylic acid derivative
  • Heteroaromatic compound
  • Imidazole
  • Azole
  • Azacycle
  • Organoheterocyclic compound
  • Organic 1,3-dipolar compound
  • Propargyl-type 1,3-dipolar organic compound
  • Monocarboxylic acid or derivatives
  • Carboxylic acid
  • Carboximidic acid derivative
  • Carboximidic acid
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary amine
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Primary aliphatic amine
  • Carbonyl group
  • Amine
  • Aromatic heteromonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic heteromonocyclic compounds
External Descriptors
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Endogenous
  • Component of Histidine metabolism
  • Component of beta-Alanine metabolism
ApplicationNot Available
Cellular locations
  • Cytoplasm
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point253 - 256 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility384 mg/mLNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility11.1 mg/mLALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)3.37ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)9.13ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count5ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count4ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area121.1 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count6ChemAxon
Refractivity55.56 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability22.37 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings1ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Urine
Tissue Location
  • Brain
  • Fibroblasts
  • Intestine
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Muscle
  • Neuron
  • Skeletal Muscle
Beta-Alanine MetabolismSMP00007map00410
Histidine MetabolismSMP00044map00340
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified6.54 +/- 1.0 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified3.1 +/- 7.5 uMInfant (0-1 year old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
SalivaDetected and Quantified0.115 +/- 0.290 uMAdult (>18 years old)Female
    • Sugimoto et al. (...
SalivaDetected and Quantified0.469 +/- 0.434 uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
    • Sugimoto et al. (...
UrineDetected and Quantified1.84 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified5.5 (1.4-12.6) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Both
UrineDetected and Quantified19.97 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)MaleNormal
    • Shaykhutdinov RA,...
UrineDetected and Quantified3.2 +/- 4.36 umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1-13 years old)FemaleNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
    • West Cadwell, N.J...
    • Basel, Switzerlan...
UrineDetected and Quantified3.5 +/- 2.7 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)MaleNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
    • West Cadwell, N.J...
    • Basel, Switzerlan...
UrineDetected and Quantified4.0 +/- 2.5 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)FemaleNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
    • West Cadwell, N.J...
    • Basel, Switzerlan...
UrineDetected and Quantified1.2 (0.2-4.1) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Both
UrineDetected and Quantified1.1+/-0.5 umol/mmol creatinineNot SpecifiedBothNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified3.28 +/- 0.91 uMElderly (>65 years old)BothAlzheimer's disease details
UrineDetected and Quantified1.0 (0.0-2.2) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothCarnosinuria details
UrineDetected and Quantified84.8 (56.5-113.0) umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1-13 years old)BothCarnosinuria details
UrineDetected and Quantified18.8 +/- 10.31 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothAlzheimer's disease details
UrineDetected and Quantified56.56-113.1 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedCarnosinuria details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease References
Alzheimer's disease
  1. Fonteh AN, Harrington RJ, Tsai A, Liao P, Harrington MG: Free amino acid and dipeptide changes in the body fluids from Alzheimer's disease subjects. Amino Acids. 2007 Feb;32(2):213-24. Epub 2006 Oct 10. [17031479 ]
  1. Furst P: Amino acid metabolism in uremia. J Am Coll Nutr. 1989 Aug;8(4):310-23. [2674258 ]
  2. MetaGene [Link]
Associated OMIM IDs
DrugBank IDNot Available
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB000511
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID388363
KEGG Compound IDC00386
BiGG ID1800369
Wikipedia LinkCarnosine
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB00033
Metagene LinkHMDB00033
PubChem Compound439224
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID15727
Synthesis Reference Vezenkov, L.; Yanachkov, O. Synthesis of carnosine by trimethylsilyl protection. Dokladi na Bulgarskata Akademiya na Naukite (1991), 44(8), 53-6
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Park YJ, Volpe SL, Decker EA: Quantitation of carnosine in humans plasma after dietary consumption of beef. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Jun 15;53(12):4736-9. [15941308 ]
  2. Guiotto A, Calderan A, Ruzza P, Borin G: Carnosine and carnosine-related antioxidants: a review. Curr Med Chem. 2005;12(20):2293-315. [16181134 ]
  3. Hipkiss AR, Preston JE, Himsworth DT, Worthington VC, Keown M, Michaelis J, Lawrence J, Mateen A, Allende L, Eagles PA, Abbott NJ: Pluripotent protective effects of carnosine, a naturally occurring dipeptide. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 20;854:37-53. [9928418 ]
  4. Guiotto A, Calderan A, Ruzza P, Osler A, Rubini C, Jo DG, Mattson MP, Borin G: Synthesis and evaluation of neuroprotective alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehyde scavenger histidyl-containing analogues of carnosine. J Med Chem. 2005 Sep 22;48(19):6156-61. [16162015 ]
  5. Hipkiss AR, Brownson C: Carnosine reacts with protein carbonyl groups: another possible role for the anti-ageing peptide? Biogerontology. 2000;1(3):217-23. [11707898 ]
  6. Furst P: Amino acid metabolism in uremia. J Am Coll Nutr. 1989 Aug;8(4):310-23. [2674258 ]
  7. Lee YT, Hsu CC, Lin MH, Liu KS, Yin MC: Histidine and carnosine delay diabetic deterioration in mice and protect human low density lipoprotein against oxidation and glycation. Eur J Pharmacol. 2005 Apr 18;513(1-2):145-50. Epub 2005 Apr 2. [15878720 ]
  8. Hipkiss AR, Brownson C, Bertani MF, Ruiz E, Ferro A: Reaction of carnosine with aged proteins: another protective process? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Apr;959:285-94. [11976203 ]
  9. Mannion AF, Jakeman PM, Dunnett M, Harris RC, Willan PL: Carnosine and anserine concentrations in the quadriceps femoris muscle of healthy humans. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1992;64(1):47-50. [1735411 ]
  10. Hipkiss AR, Brownson C, Carrier MJ: Carnosine, the anti-ageing, anti-oxidant dipeptide, may react with protein carbonyl groups. Mech Ageing Dev. 2001 Sep 15;122(13):1431-45. [11470131 ]
  11. Suzuki Y, Ito O, Mukai N, Takahashi H, Takamatsu K: High level of skeletal muscle carnosine contributes to the latter half of exercise performance during 30-s maximal cycle ergometer sprinting. Jpn J Physiol. 2002 Apr;52(2):199-205. [12139778 ]
  12. Kang JH, Kim KS, Choi SY, Kwon HY, Won MH, Kang TC: Protection by carnosine-related dipeptides against hydrogen peroxide-mediated ceruloplasmin modification. Mol Cells. 2002 Feb 28;13(1):107-12. [11911459 ]
  13. Willi SM, Zhang Y, Hill JB, Phelan MC, Michaelis RC, Holden KR: A deletion in the long arm of chromosome 18 in a child with serum carnosinase deficiency. Pediatr Res. 1997 Feb;41(2):210-3. [9029640 ]
  14. Tallon MJ, Harris RC, Boobis LH, Fallowfield JL, Wise JA: The carnosine content of vastus lateralis is elevated in resistance-trained bodybuilders. J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Nov;19(4):725-9. [16287364 ]
  15. Mozdzan M, Szemraj J, Rysz J, Nowak D: Antioxidant properties of carnosine re-evaluated with oxidizing systems involving iron and copper ions. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2005 May;96(5):352-60. [15853927 ]
  16. Jackson MC, Lenney JF: The distribution of carnosine and related dipeptides in rat and human tissues. Inflamm Res. 1996 Mar;45(3):132-5. [8689392 ]
  17. Hipkiss AR: Would carnosine or a carnivorous diet help suppress aging and associated pathologies? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 May;1067:369-74. [16804013 ]
  18. Guney Y, Turkcu UO, Hicsonmez A, Andrieu MN, Guney HZ, Bilgihan A, Kurtman C: Carnosine may reduce lung injury caused by radiation therapy. Med Hypotheses. 2006;66(5):957-9. Epub 2006 Jan 10. [16406688 ]


General function:
Involved in peroxidase activity
Specific function:
Part of the host defense system of polymorphonuclear leukocytes. It is responsible for microbicidal activity against a wide range of organisms. In the stimulated PMN, MPO catalyzes the production of hypohalous acids, primarily hypochlorous acid in physiologic situations, and other toxic intermediates that greatly enhance PMN microbicidal activity.
Gene Name:
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  1. Boldyrev A, Abe H, Stvolinsky S, Tyulina O: Effects of carnosine and related compounds on generation of free oxygen species: a comparative study. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 1995 Nov;112(3):481-5. [8529024 ]
General function:
Involved in metallopeptidase activity
Specific function:
Preferential hydrolysis of the beta-Ala-|-His dipeptide (carnosine), and also anserine, Xaa-|-His dipeptides and other dipeptides including homocarnosine
Gene Name:
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General function:
Involved in carboxy-lyase activity
Specific function:
Catalyzes the biosynthesis of histamine from histidine.
Gene Name:
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  1. Nagai K, Suda T, Kawasaki K, Mathuura S: Action of carnosine and beta-alanine on wound healing. Surgery. 1986 Nov;100(5):815-21. [3095942 ]
General function:
Involved in structural molecule activity
Specific function:
Vimentins are class-III intermediate filaments found in various non-epithelial cells, especially mesenchymal cells
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
  1. Hipkiss AR: Could carnosine or related structures suppress Alzheimer's disease? J Alzheimers Dis. 2007 May;11(2):229-40. [17522447 ]
General function:
Involved in ATP binding
Specific function:
In cooperation with other chaperones, Hsp70s stabilize preexistent proteins against aggregation and mediate the folding of newly translated polypeptides in the cytosol as well as within organelles. These chaperones participate in all these processes through their ability to recognize nonnative conformations of other proteins. They bind extended peptide segments with a net hydrophobic character exposed by polypeptides during translation and membrane translocation, or following stress-induced damage. In case of rotavirus A infection, serves as a post-attachment receptor for the virus to facilitate entry into the cell
Gene Name:
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  1. Wada I, Otaka M, Jin M, Odashima M, Komatsu K, Konishi N, Matsuhashi T, Horikawa Y, Ohba R, Itoh H, Watanabe S: Expression of HSP72 in the gastric mucosa is regulated by gastric acid in rats-correlation of HSP72 expression with mucosal protection. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Oct 20;349(2):611-8. Epub 2006 Aug 23. [16945336 ]
General function:
Involved in catalytic activity
Specific function:
Catalyzes the synthesis of carnosine and homocarnosine. Carnosine is synthesized more efficiently than homocarnosine.
Gene Name:
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Molecular weight:
Adenosine triphosphate + L-Histidine + Beta-Alanine → ADP + Phosphoric acid + Carnosinedetails
Adenosine triphosphate + L-Histidine + Beta-Alanine → Adenosine monophosphate + Pyrophosphate + Carnosinedetails


General function:
Involved in transporter activity
Specific function:
Proton-coupled intake of oligopeptides of 2 to 4 amino acids with a preference for dipeptides
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Molecular weight:
  1. Teuscher NS, Keep RF, Smith DE: PEPT2-mediated uptake of neuropeptides in rat choroid plexus. Pharm Res. 2001 Jun;18(6):807-13. [11474785 ]