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Record Information
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2016-02-11 01:02:55 UTC
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Metabolite Identification
Common NameB-Carotene
DescriptionB-Carotene is a carotenoid that is a precursor of vitamin A. It is administered to reduce the severity of photosensitivity reactions in patients with erythropoietic protoporphyria (porphyria, erythropoietic). (From Reynolds JEF(Ed): Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia (electronic version). Micromedex, Inc, Engewood, CO, 1995.) -- Pubchem; Carotene is an orange photosynthetic pigment important for photosynthesis. It is responsible for the orange colour of the carrot and many other fruits and vegetables. It contributes to photosynthesis by transmitting the light energy it absorbs to chlorophyll. Chemically, carotene is a terpene. It is the dimer of retinol (vitamin A) and comes in two primary forms: alpha- and beta-carotene. gamma-, delta- and epsilon-carotene also exist. Carotene can be stored in the liver and converted to vitamin A as needed. Beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant and such can be useful for curbing the excess of damaging free radicals in the body. However, the usefulness of beta-carotene as a dietary supplement (i.e. taken as a pill) is still subject to debate. Beta-carotene is fat-soluble, so a small amount of fat is needed to absorb it into the body. -- Wikipedia.
Carotene base 80SHMDB
Rovimix b-caroteneHMDB
Chemical FormulaC40H56
Average Molecular Weight536.8726
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight536.438201792
IUPAC Name1,3,3-trimethyl-2-[(1E,3E,5E,7E,9E,11E,13E,15E,17E)-3,7,12,16-tetramethyl-18-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohex-1-en-1-yl)octadeca-1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17-nonaen-1-yl]cyclohex-1-ene
Traditional Nameβ-carotene
CAS Registry Number7235-40-7
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as carotenes. These are a type of unsaturated hydrocarbons containing eight consecutive isoprene units. They are characterized by the presence of two end-groups (mostly cyclohexene rings, but also cyclopentene rings or acyclic groups) linked by a long branched alkyl chain. Carotenes belonging form a subgroup of the carotenoids family.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassPrenol lipids
Sub ClassTetraterpenoids
Direct ParentCarotenes
Alternative Parents
  • Carotene
  • Cycloalkene
  • Cyclic olefin
  • Olefin
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Aliphatic homomonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic homomonocyclic compounds
External Descriptors
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Endogenous
  • Food
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Cell signaling
  • Component of Retinol metabolism
  • Fuel and energy storage
  • Fuel or energy source
  • Membrane integrity/stability
  • Nutrients
  • Stabilizers
  • Surfactants and Emulsifiers
Cellular locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane (predicted from logP)
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point183 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility0.6 mg/mLNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.000391 mg/mLALOGPS
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count10ChemAxon
Refractivity191.61 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability71.84 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings2ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 10V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-0016-2794670000-c5bc2a4dbcd0f12cbf7fView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 25V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-0002-2687970000-782d048d873c21fc6b82View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 40V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-05ai-1009510000-585581456b10671692bdView in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - FAB-EBEB (JMS-HX/HX 110A, JEOL) , Positivesplash10-05mx-2920010000-471219f3e66bafb29beeView in MoNA
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-05mx-9810010000-9a261fb8602890c2481eView in MoNA
2D NMR[1H,13C] 2D NMR SpectrumNot Available
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane (predicted from logP)
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
Tissue Location
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adrenal Gland
  • Erythrocyte
  • Fibroblasts
  • Intestine
  • Liver
  • Placenta
  • Platelet
  • Prostate
  • Skin
  • Spleen
  • Stratum Corneum
Retinol MetabolismSMP00074map00830
Vitamin A DeficiencySMP00336Not Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.82 +/- 0.58 uMChildren (1-13 years old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
BloodDetected and Quantified1.59 +/- 0.53 uMAdult (>18 years old)MaleNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
BloodDetected and Quantified1.75 +/- 0.64 uMAdult (>18 years old)FemaleNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
BloodDetected and Quantified0.56 (0.23-3.92) uMAdolescent (13-18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0.42 (0.19-0.72) uMAdult (>18 years old)FemaleNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified1.18 +/- 0.06 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified1.01 +/- 0.08 uMAdult (>18 years old)MaleNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified1.0 (0.32 - 1.83) uMAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.30 (0.15-0.45) uMAdult (>18 years old)FemaleEndometrial cancer details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease References
Endometrial cancer
  1. Jeong NH, Song ES, Lee JM, Lee KB, Kim MK, Yun YM, Lee JK, Son SK, Lee JP, Kim JH, Hur SY, Kwon YI: Preoperative levels of plasma micronutrients are related to endometrial cancer risk. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2009;88(4):434-9. [19235557 ]
Associated OMIM IDs
DrugBank IDNot Available
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB014613
KNApSAcK IDC00000919
Chemspider ID4444129
KEGG Compound IDC02094
BioCyc IDCPD1F-129
BiGG ID2264935
Wikipedia LinkBetacarotene
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB00561
Metagene LinkHMDB00561
PubChem Compound5280489
ChEBI ID17579
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Rushin WG, Catignani GL, Schwartz SJ: Determination of beta-carotene and its cis isomers in serum. Clin Chem. 1990 Nov;36(11):1986-9. [2242585 ]
  2. Vahlquist A, Lee JB, Michaelsson G, Rollman O: Vitamin A in human skin: II Concentrations of carotene, retinol and dehydroretinol in various components of normal skin. J Invest Dermatol. 1982 Aug;79(2):94-7. [7097042 ]
  3. Bacic-Vrca V, Skreb F, Cepelak I, Mayer L, Kusic Z, Petres B: The effect of antioxidant supplementation on superoxide dismutase activity, Cu and Zn levels, and total antioxidant status in erythrocytes of patients with Graves' disease. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(4):383-8. [15899653 ]
  4. Wu K, Erdman JW Jr, Schwartz SJ, Platz EA, Leitzmann M, Clinton SK, DeGroff V, Willett WC, Giovannucci E: Plasma and dietary carotenoids, and the risk of prostate cancer: a nested case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Feb;13(2):260-9. [14973107 ]
  5. Huang C, Tang YL, Chen CY, Chen ML, Chu CH, Hseu CT: The bioavailability of beta-carotene in stir- or deep-fried vegetables in men determined by measuring the serum response to a single ingestion. J Nutr. 2000 Mar;130(3):534-40. [10702581 ]
  6. Gerber M: Qualitative methods to evaluate Mediterranean diet in adults. Public Health Nutr. 2006 Feb;9(1A):147-51. [16512962 ]
  7. El-Sohemy A, Baylin A, Kabagambe E, Ascherio A, Spiegelman D, Campos H: Individual carotenoid concentrations in adipose tissue and plasma as biomarkers of dietary intake. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jul;76(1):172-9. [12081831 ]
  8. Gollnick HP, Siebenwirth C: Beta-carotene plasma levels and content in oral mucosal epithelium is skin type associated. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2002 Sep-Oct;15(5):360-6. [12239432 ]
  9. Lee J, Jiang S, Levine N, Watson RR: Carotenoid supplementation reduces erythema in human skin after simulated solar radiation exposure. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 2000 Feb;223(2):170-4. [10654620 ]
  10. Stahl W, Schwarz W, Sundquist AR, Sies H: cis-trans isomers of lycopene and beta-carotene in human serum and tissues. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Apr;294(1):173-7. [1550343 ]
  11. Stahl W, Heinrich U, Jungmann H, Sies H, Tronnier H: Carotenoids and carotenoids plus vitamin E protect against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Mar;71(3):795-8. [10702175 ]
  12. Chanarat N, Chanarat P, Viratsethasin K, Suttajit M, Chiewsilp D: Biochemical and hematological manifestations of HIV/AIDS in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2001 Sep;32(3):500-3. [11944706 ]
  13. Heinrich U, Gartner C, Wiebusch M, Eichler O, Sies H, Tronnier H, Stahl W: Supplementation with beta-carotene or a similar amount of mixed carotenoids protects humans from UV-induced erythema. J Nutr. 2003 Jan;133(1):98-101. [12514275 ]
  14. Poor CL, Bierer TL, Merchen NR, Fahey GC Jr, Murphy MR, Erdman JW Jr: Evaluation of the preruminant calf as a model for the study of human carotenoid metabolism. J Nutr. 1992 Feb;122(2):262-8. [1732467 ]
  15. Lakshman MR: Alpha and omega of carotenoid cleavage. J Nutr. 2004 Jan;134(1):241S-245S. [14704327 ]
  16. Kirsh VA, Hayes RB, Mayne ST, Chatterjee N, Subar AF, Dixon LB, Albanes D, Andriole GL, Urban DA, Peters U: Supplemental and dietary vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C intakes and prostate cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 Feb 15;98(4):245-54. [16478743 ]
  17. McArdle F, Rhodes LE, Parslew RA, Close GL, Jack CI, Friedmann PS, Jackson MJ: Effects of oral vitamin E and beta-carotene supplementation on ultraviolet radiation-induced oxidative stress in human skin. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1270-5. [15531675 ]
  18. Metnitz GH, Fischer M, Bartens C, Steltzer H, Lang T, Druml W: Impact of acute renal failure on antioxidant status in multiple organ failure. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2000 Mar;44(3):236-40. [10714834 ]
  19. Zhou JF, Chen P, Yang JL, Zhu YG, Peng CH, Wu YL: Oxidative stress before and after operation in patients with chronic cholecystitis containing gallstone. Biomed Environ Sci. 2000 Dec;13(4):254-62. [11351858 ]
  20. Dimenstein R, Trugo NM, Donangelo CM, Trugo LC, Anastacio AS: Effect of subadequate maternal vitamin-A status on placental transfer of retinol and beta-carotene to the human fetus. Biol Neonate. 1996;69(4):230-4. [8724650 ]


General function:
Secondary metabolites biosynthesis, transport and catabolism
Specific function:
Symmetrically cleaves beta-carotene into two molecules of retinal. The reaction proceeds in three stages, epoxidation of the 15,15'-double bond, hydration of the double bond leading to ring opening, and oxidative cleavage of the diol formed.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
B-Carotene + Oxygen → Retinaldetails
B-Carotene + Oxygen + Reduced acceptor → beta-Carotene-15,15'-epoxide + Water + Acceptordetails
General function:
Secondary metabolites biosynthesis, transport and catabolism
Specific function:
Asymmetrically cleaves beta-carotene at the 9',10' double bond resulting in the formation of beta-apo-10'-carotenal and beta-ionone. Besides beta-carotene, lycopene is also oxidatively cleaved. The apocarotenals formed by this enzyme may be the precursors for the biosynthesis of retinoic acid or exert unknown physiological effects.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
B-Carotene + Oxygen → all-trans-10'-apo-beta-carotenal + beta-Iononedetails