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Record Information
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2017-08-16 03:23:21 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB00595
Metabolite Identification
Common NameHydrogen carbonate
DescriptionBicarbonate, or hydrogen carbonate, is a simple single carbon molecule that plays surprisingly important roles in diverse biological processes. Among these are photosynthesis, the Krebs cycle, whole-body and cellular pH regulation, and volume regulation. Since bicarbonate is charged it is not permeable to lipid bilayers. Mammalian membranes thus contain bicarbonate transport proteins to facilitate the specific transmembrane movement of HCO3(-). Bicarbonate ion is an anion that consists of one central carbon atom surrounded by three oxygen atoms in a trigonal planar arrangement, with a hydrogen atom attached to one of the oxygens. The bicarbonate ion carries a negative one formal charge and is the conjugate base of carbonic acid, H2CO3. The carbonate radical is an elusive and strong one-electron oxidant. Bicarbonate in equilibrium with carbon dioxide constitutes the main physiological buffer. The bicarbonate-carbon dioxide pair stimulates the oxidation, peroxidation and nitration of several biological targets. The demonstration that the carbonate radical existed as an independent species in aqueous solutions at physiological pH and temperature renewed the interest in the pathophysiological roles of this radical and related species. The carbonate radical has been proposed to be a key mediator of the oxidative damage resulting from peroxynitrite production, xanthine oxidase turnover and superoxide dismutase1 peroxidase activity. The carbonate radical has also been proposed to be responsible for the stimulatory effects of the bicarbonate-carbon dioxide pair on oxidations mediated by hydrogen peroxide/transition metal ions. The ultimate precursor of the carbonate radical anion being bicarbonate, carbon dioxide, peroxymonocarbonate or complexes of transition metal ions with bicarbonate-derived species remains a matter of debate. The carbonate radical mediates some of the pathogenic effects of peroxynitrite. The carbonate radical as the oxidant produced from superoxide dismutase (EC, SOD1) peroxidase activity. Peroxymonocarbonate is a biological oxidant, whose existence is in equilibrium with hydrogen peroxide and bicarbonate. (PMID: 17505962 , 17215880 ).
Acid carbonateChEBI
Hydrogen carbonic acidGenerator
Acid carbonic acidGenerator
Bicarbonic acidGenerator
BICARBONic acid ionGenerator
Bicarbonate (HCO3-)HMDB
Bicarbonate anionHMDB
Bicarbonate ion (HCO31-)HMDB
Bicarbonate ionsHMDB
Carbonate (HCO31-)HMDB
Carbonate ion (HCO31-)HMDB
Carbonic acidHMDB
Hydrogen carbonate (HCO3-)HMDB
Hydrogen carbonate anionHMDB
Hydrogen carbonate ionHMDB
Hydrogen carbonate ion (HCO3-)HMDB
Monohydrogen carbonateHMDB
Carbonates, hydrogenMeSH
Ions, bicarbonateMeSH
Carbonic acid ionsMeSH
Hydrogen carbonatesMeSH
Carbonate, hydrogenMeSH
Ions, carbonic acidMeSH
Chemical FormulaCHO3
Average Molecular Weight61.0168
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight60.992568898
IUPAC Namehydrogen carbonate
Traditional Namebicarbonate
CAS Registry Number71-52-3
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as organic carbonic acids. These are compounds comprising the carbonic acid functional group.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic acids and derivatives
ClassOrganic carbonic acids and derivatives
Sub ClassOrganic carbonic acids
Direct ParentOrganic carbonic acids
Alternative Parents
  • Carbonic acid
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Organic oxide
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Organic anion
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Endogenous
  • Osmolyte, enzyme cofactor, signalling
ApplicationNot Available
Cellular locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Mitochondria
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point720 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility12.8 mg/mL (cold water)MERCK INDEX (1996)
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility732.0 mg/mLALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)6.05ChemAxon
Physiological Charge-1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count3ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count1ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area60.36 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity20.34 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability3.86 Å3ChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash Key
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-03di-9000000000-33762640b3c1f40175d8View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-03dj-9000000000-3e53c3400139e6d9dd4cView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-03xr-9000000000-df3dc7bdb74db0364a98View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-b9301662ccbd767bc3dcView in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-0a4i-9000000000-3e6ea6280cf31dfc9b91View in MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-052f-9000000000-d57fb9009794bd66bcabView in MoNA
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
  • Mitochondria
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
  • Cellular Cytoplasm
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
Tissue LocationNot Available
2-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex deficiencySMP00549Not Available
2-Methyl-3-Hydroxybutryl CoA Dehydrogenase DeficiencySMP00137Not Available
3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl-CoA Lyase DeficiencySMP00138Not Available
3-hydroxyisobutyric acid dehydrogenase deficiencySMP00521Not Available
3-hydroxyisobutyric aciduriaSMP00522Not Available
3-Methylcrotonyl Coa Carboxylase Deficiency Type ISMP00237Not Available
3-Methylglutaconic Aciduria Type ISMP00139Not Available
3-Methylglutaconic Aciduria Type IIISMP00140Not Available
3-Methylglutaconic Aciduria Type IVSMP00141Not Available
Alanine MetabolismSMP00055map00250
Amiloride PathwaySMP00133Not Available
Bendroflumethiazide PathwaySMP00090Not Available
Beta Ureidopropionase DeficiencySMP00172Not Available
Beta-Ketothiolase DeficiencySMP00173Not Available
Betazole Action PathwaySMP00736Not Available
Blue diaper syndromeSMP00583Not Available
Bumetanide PathwaySMP00088Not Available
Chlorothiazide PathwaySMP00078Not Available
Chlorthalidone PathwaySMP00122Not Available
Cimetidine PathwaySMP00232Not Available
Citric Acid CycleSMP00057map00020
Congenital lactic acidosisSMP00546Not Available
Cyclothiazide PathwaySMP00103Not Available
CystinuriaSMP00723Not Available
Dihydropyrimidinase DeficiencySMP00178Not Available
Eplerenone PathwaySMP00135Not Available
Esomeprazole PathwaySMP00225Not Available
Ethacrynic Acid pathwaySMP00097Not Available
Famotidine PathwaySMP00231Not Available
Fructose-1,6-diphosphatase deficiencySMP00562Not Available
Fumarase deficiencySMP00547Not Available
Furosemide PathwaySMP00115Not Available
Gastric Acid ProductionSMP00589Not Available
Glucose Transporter Defect (SGLT2)SMP00184Not Available
Glucose Transporter Defect (SGLT2)SMP00245Not Available
Glutaminolysis and CancerSMP02298Not Available
Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1A (GSD1A) or Von Gierke DiseaseSMP00374Not Available
Glycogenosis, Type IA. Von gierke diseaseSMP00581Not Available
Glycogenosis, Type IBSMP00573Not Available
Glycogenosis, Type ICSMP00574Not Available
Hartnup DisorderSMP00189Not Available
Hydrochlorothiazide PathwaySMP00100Not Available
Hydroflumethiazide PathwaySMP00108Not Available
IminoglycinuriaSMP00193Not Available
Indapamide PathwaySMP00110Not Available
Isobutyryl-coa dehydrogenase deficiencySMP00523Not Available
Isovaleric acidemiaSMP00524Not Available
Isovaleric AciduriaSMP00238Not Available
Kidney FunctionSMP00483Not Available
Lactic AcidemiaSMP00313Not Available
Lansoprazole PathwaySMP00227Not Available
Leigh SyndromeSMP00196Not Available
Lysinuric Protein IntoleranceSMP00197Not Available
Lysinuric protein intolerance (LPI)SMP00585Not Available
Malonic AciduriaSMP00198Not Available
Malonyl-coa decarboxylase deficiencySMP00502Not Available
Maple Syrup Urine DiseaseSMP00199Not Available
Methyclothiazide PathwaySMP00081Not Available
Methylmalonate Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase DeficiencySMP00384Not Available
Methylmalonic AciduriaSMP00200Not Available
Methylmalonic Aciduria Due to Cobalamin-Related DisordersSMP00201Not Available
Metiamide Action PathwaySMP00735Not Available
Metolazone PathwaySMP00105Not Available
Mitochondrial complex II deficiencySMP00548Not Available
MNGIE (Mitochondrial Neurogastrointestinal Encephalopathy)SMP00202Not Available
Nizatidine PathwaySMP00233Not Available
Omeprazole PathwaySMP00226Not Available
Pantoprazole PathwaySMP00228Not Available
Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase deficiency 1 (PEPCK1)SMP00560Not Available
Pirenzepine PathwaySMP00246Not Available
Polythiazide PathwaySMP00080Not Available
Primary hyperoxaluria II, PH2SMP00558Not Available
Primary Hyperoxaluria Type ISMP00352Not Available
Propanoate MetabolismSMP00016map00640
Propionic AcidemiaSMP00236Not Available
Pyrimidine MetabolismSMP00046map00240
Pyruvate Carboxylase DeficiencySMP00350Not Available
Pyruvate Decarboxylase E1 Component Deficiency (PDHE1 Deficiency)SMP00334Not Available
Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex DeficiencySMP00212Not Available
Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency (E2)SMP00551Not Available
Pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency (E3)SMP00550Not Available
Pyruvate kinase deficiencySMP00559Not Available
Pyruvate MetabolismSMP00060map00620
Quinethazone PathwaySMP00091Not Available
Rabeprazole PathwaySMP00229Not Available
Ranitidine PathwaySMP00230Not Available
Roxatidine acetate Action PathwaySMP00734Not Available
Spironolactone PathwaySMP00134Not Available
The oncogenic action of 2-hydroxyglutarateSMP02291Not Available
The oncogenic action of D-2-hydroxyglutarate in Hydroxygluaricaciduria SMP02359Not Available
The oncogenic action of FumarateSMP02295Not Available
The oncogenic action of L-2-hydroxyglutarate in HydroxygluaricaciduriaSMP02358Not Available
The oncogenic action of SuccinateSMP02292Not Available
Threonine and 2-Oxobutanoate DegradationSMP00452Not Available
Torsemide PathwaySMP00118Not Available
Transfer of Acetyl Groups into MitochondriaSMP00466Not Available
Triamterene PathwaySMP00132Not Available
Trichlormethiazide PathwaySMP00121Not Available
Triosephosphate isomeraseSMP00563Not Available
UMP Synthase Deiciency (Orotic Aciduria)SMP00219Not Available
Urea CycleSMP00059map00330
Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine DegradationSMP00032map00280
Warburg EffectSMP00654Not Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified24900.0 +/- 1790.0 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
BloodDetected and Quantified24700.0 +/- 1200.0 uMAdult (>18 years old)MaleNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
BloodDetected and Quantified23100.0 +/- 1500.0 uMAdult (>18 years old)Female
    • Geigy Scientific ...
BloodDetected and Quantified20000.0 (15500.0-22500.0) uMNewborn (0-30 days old)BothNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
Cellular CytoplasmDetected and Quantified11200 +/- 150 uMAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal
    • Geigy Scientific ...
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified10000 +/- 1000 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified7600 +/- 1600 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified13600.00 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothDiabetic ketoacidosis details
BloodDetected and Quantified25500.00 (24000.00-27000.00) uMAdult (>18 years old)BothHawkinsinuria details
BloodDetected and Quantified12000.00 (10000.00-14000.00) uMChildren (1-13 years old)BothHawkinsinuria details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease References
  1. MetaGene [Link]
Associated OMIM IDs
DrugBank IDNot Available
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB022134
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID749
KEGG Compound IDC00288
BiGG ID34509
Wikipedia LinkBicarbonate
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB0000595
METLIN IDNot Available
PubChem Compound769
ChEBI ID17544
Synthesis ReferenceNakajima, Fumiaki; Arima, Toshikazu; Kikuchi, Shintaro; Hirano, Hachiro. Production of alkaline hydrogen carbonate. Jpn. Kokai Tokkyo Koho (2005), 15 pp.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Medinas DB, Cerchiaro G, Trindade DF, Augusto O: The carbonate radical and related oxidants derived from bicarbonate buffer. IUBMB Life. 2007 Apr-May;59(4-5):255-62. [PubMed:17505962 ]
  2. Casey JR: Why bicarbonate? Biochem Cell Biol. 2006 Dec;84(6):930-9. [PubMed:17215880 ]


General function:
Lipid transport and metabolism
Specific function:
Catalyzes fat and vitamin absorption. Acts in concert with pancreatic lipase and colipase for the complete digestion of dietary triglycerides.
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Involved in inositol or phosphatidylinositol phosphatase activity
Specific function:
Converts phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate to phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate. Also converts inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate to inositol 1,4-bisphosphate and inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate to inositol 1,3,4-trisphosphate. May function in lysosomal membrane trafficking by regulating the specific pool of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate that is associated with lysosomes. Involved in primary cilia assembly.
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Involved in ferric iron binding
Specific function:
The lactotransferrin transferrin-like domain 1 functions as a serine protease of the peptidase S60 family that cuts arginine rich regions. This function contributes to the antimicrobial activity
Gene Name:
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General function:
Involved in ferric iron binding
Specific function:
Transferrins are iron binding transport proteins which can bind two Fe(3+) ions in association with the binding of an anion, usually bicarbonate. It is responsible for the transport of iron from sites of absorption and heme degradation to those of storage and utilization. Serum transferrin may also have a further role in stimulating cell proliferation
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General function:
Involved in ATP binding
Specific function:
Involved in the transport of chloride ions. May regulate bicarbonate secretion and salvage in epithelial cells by regulating the SLC4A7 transporter. Can inhibit the chloride channel activity of ANO1.
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General function:
Involved in carbonate dehydratase activity
Specific function:
Reversible hydration of carbon dioxide. May stimulate the sodium/bicarbonate transporter activity of SLC4A4 that acts in pH homeostasis. It is essential for acid overload removal from the retina and retina epithelium, and acid release in the choriocapillaris in the choroid.
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Involved in secondary active sulfate transmembrane transporter activity
Specific function:
Chloride/bicarbonate exchanger. Involved in absorbtion of in the colon. Helps mediate electrolyte and fluid absorption
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General function:
Involved in phosphorus-oxygen lyase activity
Specific function:
Soluble adenylyl cyclase that has a critical role in mammalian spermatogenesis. Produces the cAMP which mediates in part the cAMP-responsive nuclear factors indispensable for maturation of sperm in the epididymis. Induces capacitation, the maturational process that sperm undergo prior to fertilization. May be the bicarbonate sensor. Involved in ciliary beat regulation.
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Involved in secondary active sulfate transmembrane transporter activity
Specific function:
DIDS- and thiosulfate- sensitive anion exchanger mediating chloride, sulfate and oxalate transport. Mediates chloride/bicarbonate exchange or chloride-independent bicarbonate extrusion thus assuring bicarbonate secretion. Inhibited by ammonium and thiosulfate
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General function:
Involved in transporter activity
Specific function:
Acts as a sodium-independent DIDS-sensitive anion exchanger mediating bicarbonate, chloride, sulfate and oxalate transport. May play a role in the maintenance of the electrolyte and acid-base homeostasis in the kidney, by acting as a distal excretory segment-specific anion exchanger. Plays a major role in gastric acid secretion
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Involved in chloride channel activity
Specific function:
Forms calcium-sensitive chloride channels. Highly permeable to bicarbonate
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General function:
Posttranslational modification, protein turnover, chaperones
Specific function:
Forms calcium-sensitive chloride channels. Permeable to bicarbonate
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General function:
Involved in chloride channel activity
Specific function:
Forms calcium-sensitivechloride channels. Permeable to bicarbonate
Gene Name:
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General function:
Involved in chloride channel activity
Specific function:
Forms calcium-sensitive chloride channels. Permeable to bicarbonate
Gene Name:
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General function:
Involved in transporter activity
Specific function:
Chloride/bicarbonate exchanger
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Molecular weight:
General function:
Involved in secondary active sulfate transmembrane transporter activity
Specific function:
Motor protein that converts auditory stimuli to length changes in outer hair cells and mediates sound amplification in the mammalian hearing organ. Prestin is a bidirectional voltage- to-force converter, it can operate at microsecond rates. It uses cytoplasmic anions as extrinsic voltage sensors, probably chloride and bicarbonate. After binding to a site with millimolar affinity, these anions are translocated across the membrane in response to changes in the transmembrane voltage. They move towards the extracellular surface following hyperpolarization, and towards the cytoplasmic side in response to depolarization. As a consequence, this translocation triggers conformational changes in the protein that ultimately alter its surface area in the plane of the plasma membrane. The area decreases when the anion is near the cytoplasmic face of the membrane (short state), and increases when the ion has crossed the membrane to the outer surface (long state). So, it acts as an incomplete transporter. It swings anions across the membrane, but does not allow these anions to dissociate and escape to the extracellular space. Salicylate, an inhibitor of outer hair cell motility, acts as competitive antagonist at the prestin anion-binding site
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Involved in solute:hydrogen antiporter activity
Specific function:
Sperm-specific sodium/hydrogen exchanger involved in intracellular pH regulation of spermatozoa. Required for sperm motility and fertility. Involved in sperm cell hyperactivation, a step needed for sperm motility which is essential late in the preparation of sperm for fertilization. Required for the expression and bicarbonate regulation of the soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC)
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General function:
Involved in anion transport
Specific function:
Electrogenic sodium/bicarbonate cotransporter with a Na(+):HCO3(-) stoichiometry varying from 1:2 to 1:3. May regulate bicarbonate influx/efflux at the basolateral membrane of cells and regulate intracellular pH
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General function:
Involved in inorganic anion exchanger activity
Specific function:
Electrogenic sodium/bicarbonate cotransporter in exchange for intracellular chloride. Plays an important role in regulating intracellular pH
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General function:
Involved in anion transport
Specific function:
Electroneutral sodium- and bicarbonate-dependent cotransporter with a Na(+):HCO3(-) 1:1 stoichiometry. Regulates intracellular pH and may play a role in bicarbonate salvage in secretory epithelia. May also have an associated sodium channel activity.
Gene Name:
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Molecular weight:
General function:
Involved in anion transport
Specific function:
Mediates sodium- and bicarbonate-dependent electrogenic sodium bicarbonate cotransport, with a Na(+):HCO3(-) stoichiometry of 2:1. May have a housekeeping function in regulating the pH of tissues in which it is expressed. May play a role in mediating Na(+):HCO3(-) cotransport in hepatocytes and intrahepatic cholangiocytes. Also may be important in protecting the renal paranchyma from alterations in urine pH
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