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Record Information
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2014-10-29 20:39:23 UTC
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Metabolite Identification
Common NamePropionic acid
DescriptionPropionic acid (PA) is widely used as an antifungal agent in food. It is present naturally at low levels in dairy products and occurs ubiquitously, together with other short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), in the gastro-intestinal tract of humans and other mammals as an end-product of the microbial digestion of carbohydrates. It has significant physiological activity in animals. PA is irritant but produces no acute systemic effects and has no demonstrable genotoxic potential. (PMID 1628870 ) Propionic aciduria is one of the most frequent organic acidurias, a disease that comprise many various disorders. The outcome of patients born with Propionic aciduria is poor intellectual development patterns, with 60% having an IQ less than 75 and requiring special education. Successful liver and/or renal transplantations, in a few patients, have resulted in better quality of life but have not necessarily prevented neurological and various visceral complications. These results emphasize the need for permanent metabolic follow-up whatever the therapeutic strategy. (PMID 15868474 ) Decreased early mortality, less severe symptoms at diagnosis, and more favorable short-term neurodevelopmental outcome were recorded in patients identified through expanded newborn screening. (PMID 16763906 ).
  1. Adofeed
  2. Antischim B
  3. Carboxyethane
  4. Ethanecarboxylate
  5. Ethanecarboxylic acid
  6. Ethylformate
  7. Ethylformic acid
  8. Luprosil
  9. Metacetonate
  10. Metacetonic acid
  11. Methylacetate
  12. Methylacetic acid
  13. MonoProp
  14. Propanate
  15. Propanoate
  16. Propanoic acid
  17. Propcorn
  18. Propionate
  19. Propkorn
  20. Prozoin
  21. Pseudoacetate
  22. Pseudoacetic acid
  23. Toxi-Check
Chemical FormulaC3H6O2
Average Molecular Weight74.0785
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight74.036779436
IUPAC Namepropanoic acid
Traditional Namepropanoic acid
CAS Registry Number79-09-4
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
KingdomOrganic Compounds
Super ClassOrganic Acids and Derivatives
ClassCarboxylic Acids and Derivatives
Sub ClassCarboxylic Acid Derivatives
Other Descriptors
  • Aliphatic Acyclic Compounds
  • Saturated fatty acids(KEGG)
  • Straight chain fatty acids(KEGG)
  • Straight chain fatty acids(Lipidmaps)
  • saturated fatty acid(ChEBI)
  • short-chain fatty acid(ChEBI)
  • N/A
Direct ParentCarboxylic Acids
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Food
  • Microbial
BiofunctionNot Available
ApplicationNot Available
Cellular locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Mitochondria
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point-20.7 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility1000.0 mg/mLNot Available
LogP0.33HANSCH,C ET AL. (1995)
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility352 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)4.75ChemAxon
Physiological Charge-1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count1ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area37.3ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count1ChemAxon
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Mitochondria
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
  • Saliva
  • Urine
Tissue Location
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Brain
  • Epidermis
  • Fibroblasts
  • Intestine
  • Muscle
  • Neuron
  • Platelet
  • Stratum Corneum
  • Testes
Propanoate MetabolismSMP00016map00640
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified1.6 +/- 1.2 uMChildren (1-13 years old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
BloodDetected and Quantified0.9 +/- 1.2 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified2.8 +/- 3.2 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
SalivaDetected and Quantified38 (1-264) uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
SalivaDetected and Quantified70 (9-1113) uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
SalivaDetected and Quantified76 (<1-632) uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
SalivaDetected but not QuantifiedNot ApplicableAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal details
SalivaDetected and Quantified13 (<1-140) uMAdult (>18 years old)Female
SalivaDetected but not QuantifiedNot ApplicableAdult (>18 years old)Both
    • Dame, ZT. et al. ...
SalivaDetected and Quantified1-586 uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
SalivaDetected and Quantified1-100 uMAdult (>18 years old)Male
SalivaDetected and Quantified1412.24 +/- 1089.82 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal
    • Dame, ZT. et al. ...
SalivaDetected and Quantified6420 (5920-6920) uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified2.96 +/- 2.76 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
UrineDetected and Quantified14.0 (11.4-18.3) umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified2.5 (0.00-5.00) uMChildren (1-13 years old)BothPropionic acidemia details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease References
Propionic acidemia
  1. MetaGene
Associated OMIM IDs
DrugBank IDDB03766
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB008285
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID1005
KEGG Compound IDC00163
BiGG ID34098
Wikipedia LinkPropionic acid
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB00237
Metagene LinkHMDB00237
PubChem Compound1032
ChEBI ID30768
Synthesis ReferenceZhan, Jianghong; Meng, Wei; Gong, Tao; Huang, Fen-sheng. Preparation of propionic acid by propionaldehyde oxidation. Shihua Jishu Yu Yingyong (2005), 23(6), 421-423.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Chandler RJ, Aswani V, Tsai MS, Falk M, Wehrli N, Stabler S, Allen R, Sedensky M, Kazazian HH, Venditti CP: Propionyl-CoA and adenosylcobalamin metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans: evidence for a role of methylmalonyl-CoA epimerase in intermediary metabolism. Mol Genet Metab. 2006 Sep-Oct;89(1-2):64-73. Epub 2006 Jul 14. Pubmed: 16843692
  2. Silwood CJ, Lynch E, Claxson AW, Grootveld MC: 1H and (13)C NMR spectroscopic analysis of human saliva. J Dent Res. 2002 Jun;81(6):422-7. Pubmed: 12097436
  3. Somerma S, Lassus A, Salde L: Assessment of atrophy of human skin caused by corticosteroids using chamber occlusion and suction blister techniques. Acta Derm Venereol. 1984;64(1):41-5. Pubmed: 6203280
  4. Marala RB, Brown JA, Kong JX, Tracey WR, Knight DR, Wester RT, Sun D, Kennedy SP, Hamanaka ES, Ruggeri RB, Hill RJ: Zoniporide: a potent and highly selective inhibitor of human Na(+)/H(+) exchanger-1. Eur J Pharmacol. 2002 Sep 6;451(1):37-41. Pubmed: 12223226
  5. Lin SC, Bergles DE: Synaptic signaling between neurons and glia. Glia. 2004 Aug 15;47(3):290-8. Pubmed: 15252819
  6. Alekseev OM, Widgren EE, Richardson RT, O'Rand MG: Association of NASP with HSP90 in mouse spermatogenic cells: stimulation of ATPase activity and transport of linker histones into nuclei. J Biol Chem. 2005 Jan 28;280(4):2904-11. Epub 2004 Nov 8. Pubmed: 15533935
  7. Robertson MD, Bickerton AS, Dennis AL, Vidal H, Frayn KN: Insulin-sensitizing effects of dietary resistant starch and effects on skeletal muscle and adipose tissue metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):559-67. Pubmed: 16155268
  8. Esposito BP, Faljoni-Alario A, de Menezes JF, de Brito HF, Najjar R: A circular dichroism and fluorescence quenching study of the interactions between rhodium(II) complexes and human serum albumin. J Inorg Biochem. 1999 May 30;75(1):55-61. Pubmed: 10402677
  9. Jeng JH, Chan CP, Ho YS, Lan WH, Hsieh CC, Chang MC: Effects of butyrate and propionate on the adhesion, growth, cell cycle kinetics, and protein synthesis of cultured human gingival fibroblasts. J Periodontol. 1999 Dec;70(12):1435-42. Pubmed: 10632518
  10. Christensen JK, Varming T, Ahring PK, Jorgensen TD, Nielsen EO: In vitro characterization of 5-carboxyl-2,4-di-benzamidobenzoic acid (NS3763), a noncompetitive antagonist of GLUK5 receptors. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2004 Jun;309(3):1003-10. Epub 2004 Feb 25. Pubmed: 14985418
  11. Bintvihok A, Kositcharoenkul S: Effect of dietary calcium propionate on performance, hepatic enzyme activities and aflatoxin residues in broilers fed a diet containing low levels of aflatoxin B1. Toxicon. 2006 Jan;47(1):41-6. Epub 2005 Nov 18. Pubmed: 16298407
  12. Mayer B, Schumacher M, Brandstatter H, Wagner FS, Hermetter A: High-throughput fluorescence screening of antioxidative capacity in human serum. Anal Biochem. 2001 Oct 15;297(2):144-53. Pubmed: 11673881
  13. De Kanter R, De Jager MH, Draaisma AL, Jurva JU, Olinga P, Meijer DK, Groothuis GM: Drug-metabolizing activity of human and rat liver, lung, kidney and intestine slices. Xenobiotica. 2002 May;32(5):349-62. Pubmed: 12065058
  14. Ridge BD, Batt MD, Palmer HE, Jarrett A: The dansyl chloride technique for stratum corneum renewal as an indicator of changes in epidermal mitotic activity following topical treatment. Br J Dermatol. 1988 Feb;118(2):167-74. Pubmed: 3348963
  15. Koeppe RA, Frey KA, Snyder SE, Meyer P, Kilbourn MR, Kuhl DE: Kinetic modeling of N-[11C]methylpiperidin-4-yl propionate: alternatives for analysis of an irreversible positron emission tomography trace for measurement of acetylcholinesterase activity in human brain. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1999 Oct;19(10):1150-63. Pubmed: 10532640
  16. Nguyen TB, Snyder SE, Kilbourn MR: Syntheses of carbon-11 labeled piperidine esters as potential in vivo substrates for acetylcholinesterase. Nucl Med Biol. 1998 Nov;25(8):761-8. Pubmed: 9863564
  17. Wendel U, Zass R, Leupold D: Contribution of odd-numbered fatty acid oxidation to propionate production in neonates with methylmalonic and propionic acidaemias. Eur J Pediatr. 1993 Dec;152(12):1021-3. Pubmed: 8131803
  18. Beutler KT, Pankewycz O, Brautigan DL: Equivalent uptake of organic and inorganic zinc by monkey kidney fibroblasts, human intestinal epithelial cells, or perfused mouse intestine. Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998 Jan;61(1):19-31. Pubmed: 9498328
  19. Harrison PT: Propionic acid and the phenomenon of rodent forestomach tumorigenesis: a review. Food Chem Toxicol. 1992 Apr;30(4):333-40. Pubmed: 1628870
  20. de Baulny HO, Benoist JF, Rigal O, Touati G, Rabier D, Saudubray JM: Methylmalonic and propionic acidaemias: management and outcome. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2005;28(3):415-23. Pubmed: 15868474
  21. Dionisi-Vici C, Deodato F, Roschinger W, Rhead W, Wilcken B: 'Classical' organic acidurias, propionic aciduria, methylmalonic aciduria and isovaleric aciduria: long-term outcome and effects of expanded newborn screening using tandem mass spectrometry. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2006 Apr-Jun;29(2-3):383-9. Pubmed: 16763906


General function:
Involved in acetate-CoA ligase activity
Specific function:
Activates acetate so that it can be used for lipid synthesis or for energy generation.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Adenosine triphosphate + Propionic acid → Pyrophosphate + Propinol adenylatedetails
General function:
Involved in acetate-CoA ligase activity
Specific function:
Important for maintaining normal body temperature during fasting and for energy homeostasis. Essential for energy expenditure under ketogenic conditions (By similarity). Converts acetate to acetyl-CoA so that it can be used for oxidation through the tricarboxylic cycle to produce ATP and CO(2).
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Adenosine triphosphate + Propionic acid → Pyrophosphate + Propinol adenylatedetails
General function:
Involved in Mo-molybdopterin cofactor biosynthetic process
Specific function:
Microtubule-associated protein involved in membrane protein-cytoskeleton interactions. It is thought to anchor the inhibitory glycine receptor (GLYR) to subsynaptic microtubules (By similarity). Catalyzes two steps in the biosynthesis of the molybdenum cofactor. In the first step, molybdopterin is adenylated. Subsequently, molybdate is inserted into adenylated molybdopterin and AMP is released.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
  1. Overington JP, Al-Lazikani B, Hopkins AL: How many drug targets are there? Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2006 Dec;5(12):993-6. Pubmed: 17139284
  2. Imming P, Sinning C, Meyer A: Drugs, their targets and the nature and number of drug targets. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2006 Oct;5(10):821-34. Pubmed: 17016423
  3. Berman HM, Westbrook J, Feng Z, Gilliland G, Bhat TN, Weissig H, Shindyalov IN, Bourne PE: The Protein Data Bank. Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Jan 1;28(1):235-42. Pubmed: 10592235
General function:
Involved in acetate-CoA ligase activity
Specific function:
Not Available
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
General function:
Not Available
Specific function:
Activates acetate so that it can be used for lipid synthesis or for energy generation (By similarity).
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Adenosine triphosphate + Propionic acid → Pyrophosphate + Propinol adenylatedetails