You are using an unsupported browser. Please upgrade your browser to a newer version to get the best experience on Human Metabolome Database.
Record Information
StatusDetected and Quantified
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2018-04-16 17:02:09 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB00694
Metabolite Identification
Common NameL-2-Hydroxyglutaric acid
DescriptionL-2-Hydroxyglutaric acid is a metabolite that accumulates in L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria, which is a neurometabolic disorder (OMIM: 236792 ), and has been reported in multiple patients who have a clinical phenotype of progressive neurodegeneration with extrapyramidal and cerebellar signs, seizures, and spongiform changes in the white matter (OMIM: 600721 ). In humans, 2-hydroxyglutarate is formed by a hydroxyacid-oxoacid transhydrogenase whereas in bacteria it is formed by a 2-hydroxyglutarate synthase. L-2-Hydroxyglutaric acid can be converted to alpha-ketoglutaric acid through the action of 2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase (EC In humans, there are two such enzymes (D2HGDH and L2HGDH). Both the D and L stereoisomers of hydroxyglutaric acid are found in body fluids. L-2-Hydroxyglutaric acid can also be produced via gain-of-function mutations in the cytosolic and mitochondrial isoforms of isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH). IDH is part of the TCA cycle and this compound is generated in high abundance when IDH is mutated. Since L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid is sufficiently similar in structure to 2-oxoglutarate (2OG), it is able to inhibit a range of 2OG-dependent dioxygenases, including histone lysine demethylases (KDMs) and members of the ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) hydroxylases. This inhibitory effect leads to alterations in the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-mediated hypoxic response and alterations in gene expression through global epigenetic remodeling. The net effect is that L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid causes a cascading effect that leads genetic perturbations and malignant transformation. Depending on the circumstances, L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid can function as an oncometabolite, a neurotoxin, an acidogen, and a metabotoxin. An oncometabolite is a compound that promotes tumour growth and survival. A neurotoxin is compound that is toxic to neurons or neural tissue. An acidogen is an acidic compound that induces acidosis, which has multiple adverse effects on many organ systems. A metabotoxin is an endogenously produced metabolite that causes adverse health effects at chronically high levels. As an oncometabolite, L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid is a competitive inhibitor of multiple alpha-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases, including histone demethylases and the TET family of 5mC hydroxylases. As a result, high levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate lead to genome-wide histone and DNA methylation alterations, which in turn lead to mutations that ultimately cause cancer (PMID: 29038145 ). As a neurotoxin, L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid mediates its neurotoxicity through activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. L-2-Hydroxyglutaric acid is structurally similar to the excitatory amino acid glutamate and stimulates neurodegeneration by mechanisms similar to glutamate, NMDA, or mitochondrial toxins (PMID: 12153528 ). As an acidogen, L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid is classified as an alpha hydroxy acid belonging to the general class of compounds known as organic acids. Chronically high levels of L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid are characteristic of the inborn error of metabolism called L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria. Abnormally high levels of organic acids in the blood (organic acidemia), urine (organic aciduria), the brain, and other tissues lead to general metabolic acidosis. Acidosis typically occurs when arterial pH falls below 7.35. In infants with acidosis, the initial symptoms include poor feeding, vomiting, loss of appetite, weak muscle tone (hypotonia), and lack of energy (lethargy). These can progress to heart abnormalities, kidney abnormalities, liver damage, seizures, coma, and possibly death. These are the symptoms typical of untreated L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria. Many affected children with organic acidemias experience intellectual disability or delayed development. In adults, acidosis or acidemia is characterized by headaches, confusion, feeling tired, tremors, sleepiness, and seizures.
(S)-2-Hydroxyglutaric acidHMDB
(S)-α-Hydroxyglutaric acidHMDB
(S)-alpha-Hydroxyglutaric acidHMDB
2-Hydroxy-(S)-pentanedioic acidHMDB
2-Hydroxy-L-glutaric acidHMDB
L-α-Hydroxyglutaric acidHMDB
L-alpha-Hydroxyglutaric acidHMDB
L-2-Hydroxyglutaric acidHMDB
Chemical FormulaC5H8O5
Average Molecular Weight148.114
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight148.037173366
IUPAC Name(2S)-2-hydroxypentanedioic acid
Traditional NameL-2-hydroxyglutaric acid
CAS Registry Number13095-48-2
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
DescriptionThis compound belongs to the class of organic compounds known as hydroxy fatty acids. These are fatty acids in which the chain bears a hydroxyl group.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassFatty Acyls
Sub ClassFatty acids and conjugates
Direct ParentHydroxy fatty acids
Alternative Parents
  • Hydroxy fatty acid
  • Short-chain hydroxy acid
  • Monosaccharide
  • Hydroxy acid
  • Dicarboxylic acid or derivatives
  • Alpha-hydroxy acid
  • Secondary alcohol
  • Carboxylic acid
  • Carboxylic acid derivative
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physiological effect

Health effect:


Route of exposure:


Biological location:


Indirect biological role:

Biological role:

Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting PointNot AvailableNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water SolubilityNot AvailableNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility157 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)3.28ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-3.8ChemAxon
Physiological Charge-2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count5ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count3ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area94.83 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count4ChemAxon
Refractivity29.63 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability12.97 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
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)splash10-05mk-1900000000-c8b7818c2a1224f0b694View in MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Quattro_QQQ 25V, Positive (Annotated)splash10-000i-9000000000-fc923f875e23e766078cView in MoNA
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot AvailableView in JSpectraViewer
2D NMR[1H,13C] 2D NMR SpectrumNot AvailableView in JSpectraViewer
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm (predicted from logP)
  • Mitochondria
Biospecimen Locations
  • Blood
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
  • Feces
  • Saliva
  • Urine
Tissue LocationNot Available
The oncogenic action of D-2-hydroxyglutarate in Hydroxygluaricaciduria ThumbThumb?image type=greyscaleThumb?image type=simpleNot Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified1.5 (0.0-1.5) uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0.5-1.0 uMInfant (0-1 year old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0.6(0.5-1.0) uMInfant (0-1 year old)FemaleNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0 uMChildren (1 - 13 years old)BothNormal details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified0.3-2.3 uMInfant (0-1 year old)BothNormal details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified0.7(0.3-2.3) uMInfant (0-1 year old)FemaleNormal details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified1 uMChildren (1-13 years old)BothNormal details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified1.0 +/- 1.0 uMAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal details
FecesDetected but not Quantified Adult (>18 years old)Both
FecesDetected but not Quantified Adult (>18 years old)Both
FecesDetected but not Quantified Not SpecifiedNot Specified
SalivaDetected but not Quantified Adult (>18 years old)Both
    • Zerihun T. Dame, ...
UrineDetected and Quantified24.379 +/- 9.126 umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1 - 13 years old)Not Specified
    • Mordechai, Hien, ...
UrineDetected and Quantified51.9 (13.7-97.3) umol/mmol creatinineNewborn (0-30 days old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified41.5 (14.6-150.3) umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected but not Quantified Adult (>18 years old)Both
UrineDetected and Quantified12.4 (5.1-24.9) umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1-13 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified11.2 (4.6-33.6) umol/mmol creatinineAdolescent (13-18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified2.2 (0.8-52) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified<26.15 umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1 - 18 years old)Both
    • BC Children's Hos...
UrineDetected and Quantified33.0 (13.3-77.9) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Both
UrineDetected and Quantified<2.5 umol/mmol creatinineAdolescent (13-18 years old)MaleNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified1.3-19 umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified6(1.3-19) umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)FemaleNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified47.0 +/- 13.0 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothL-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
BloodDetected and Quantified23 uMAdolescent (13-18 years old)MaleL-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
BloodDetected and Quantified2.0(1.1-3.0) uMInfant (0-1 year old)BothCombined D,L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
BloodDetected and Quantified47(27-62) uMInfant (0-1 year old)FemaleL-2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified30 uMAdolescent (13-18 years old)MaleL-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified62 (34-100) uMInfant (0-1 year old)FemaleL-2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
UrineDetected and Quantified145 umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1-13 years old)Male
D, L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria
UrineDetected and Quantified61.074 +/- 36.982 umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1 - 13 years old)Not Specified
Eosinophilic esophagitis
    • Mordechai, Hien, ...
UrineDetected and Quantified76-83 umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)MaleD-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
UrineDetected and Quantified32 umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)FemaleD,L-2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
UrineDetected and Quantified60 umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)Female
D2-/L2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria
UrineDetected and Quantified122 umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)FemaleD2-/L2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
UrineDetected and Quantified942 umol/mmol creatinineAdolescent (13-18 years old)MaleL-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
UrineDetected and Quantified161(64-247) umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)BothCombined D,L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease References
D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria
  1. Wajne M, Vargas CR, Funayama C, Fernandez A, Elias ML, Goodman SI, Jakobs C, van der Knaap MS: D-2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria in a patient with a severe clinical phenotype and unusual MRI findings. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2002 Feb;25(1):28-34. [PubMed:11999977 ]
L-2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria
  1. Gibson KM, ten Brink HJ, Schor DS, Kok RM, Bootsma AH, Hoffmann GF, Jakobs C: Stable-isotope dilution analysis of D- and L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid: application to the detection and prenatal diagnosis of D- and L-2-hydroxyglutaric acidemias. Pediatr Res. 1993 Sep;34(3):277-80. [PubMed:8134166 ]
  2. Gibson KM, Craigen W, Herman GE, Jakobs C: D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria in a newborn with neurological abnormalities: a new neurometabolic disorder? J Inherit Metab Dis. 1993;16(3):497-500. [PubMed:7609436 ]
  3. Seijo-Martinez M, Navarro C, Castro del Rio M, Vila O, Puig M, Ribes A, Butron M: L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria: clinical, neuroimaging, and neuropathological findings. Arch Neurol. 2005 Apr;62(4):666-70. [PubMed:15824270 ]
  4. G.Frauendienst-Egger, Friedrich K. Trefz (2017). MetaGene: Metabolic & Genetic Information Center (MIC: METAGENE consortium.
D, L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria
  1. Muntau AC, Roschinger W, Merkenschlager A, van der Knaap MS, Jakobs C, Duran M, Hoffmann GF, Roscher AA: Combined D-2- and L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria with neonatal onset encephalopathy: a third biochemical variant of 2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria? Neuropediatrics. 2000 Jun;31(3):137-40. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-7497. [PubMed:10963100 ]
  2. G.Frauendienst-Egger, Friedrich K. Trefz (2017). MetaGene: Metabolic & Genetic Information Center (MIC: METAGENE consortium.
Associated OMIM IDs
  • 236792 (L-2-Hydroxyglutaric aciduria)
  • 600721 (D-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria)
  • 615182 (D, L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria)
DrugBank IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB022185
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID388969
KEGG Compound IDC03196
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkNot Available
METLIN IDNot Available
PubChem Compound439939
ChEBI ID32797
Synthesis ReferenceKobayashi, Hidehiko; Yamaguchi, Koretaka; Yamashita, Takeshi. a-Hydroxyglutaric acid from glutamic acid. Jpn. Tokkyo Koho (1968), 3 pp.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Guneral F, Bachmann C: Age-related reference values for urinary organic acids in a healthy Turkish pediatric population. Clin Chem. 1994 Jun;40(6):862-6. [PubMed:8087979 ]
  2. Gibson KM, ten Brink HJ, Schor DS, Kok RM, Bootsma AH, Hoffmann GF, Jakobs C: Stable-isotope dilution analysis of D- and L-2-hydroxyglutaric acid: application to the detection and prenatal diagnosis of D- and L-2-hydroxyglutaric acidemias. Pediatr Res. 1993 Sep;34(3):277-80. [PubMed:8134166 ]
  3. Rashed MS, AlAmoudi M, Aboul-Enein HY: Chiral liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry in the determination of the configuration of 2-hydroxyglutaric acid in urine. Biomed Chromatogr. 2000 Aug;14(5):317-20. [PubMed:10960831 ]
  4. Fujitake J, Ishikawa Y, Fujii H, Nishimura K, Hayakawa K, Inoue F, Terada N, Okochi M, Tatsuoka Y: L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria: two Japanese adult cases in one family. J Neurol. 1999 May;246(5):378-82. [PubMed:10399870 ]
  5. Barth PG, Hoffmann GF, Jaeken J, Lehnert W, Hanefeld F, van Gennip AH, Duran M, Valk J, Schutgens RB, Trefz FK, et al.: L-2-hydroxyglutaric acidemia: a novel inherited neurometabolic disease. Ann Neurol. 1992 Jul;32(1):66-71. [PubMed:1642474 ]
  6. de Klerk JB, Huijmans JG, Stroink H, Robben SG, Jakobs C, Duran M: L-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria: clinical heterogeneity versus biochemical homogeneity in a sibship. Neuropediatrics. 1997 Dec;28(6):314-7. [PubMed:9453028 ]
  7. Collins RRJ, Patel K, Putnam WC, Kapur P, Rakheja D: Oncometabolites: A New Paradigm for Oncology, Metabolism, and the Clinical Laboratory. Clin Chem. 2017 Dec;63(12):1812-1820. doi: 10.1373/clinchem.2016.267666. Epub 2017 Oct 16. [PubMed:29038145 ]
  8. Kolker S, Pawlak V, Ahlemeyer B, Okun JG, Horster F, Mayatepek E, Krieglstein J, Hoffmann GF, Kohr G: NMDA receptor activation and respiratory chain complex V inhibition contribute to neurodegeneration in d-2-hydroxyglutaric aciduria. Eur J Neurosci. 2002 Jul;16(1):21-8. [PubMed:12153528 ]


General function:
Involved in 2-hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase activity
Specific function:
Not Available
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
L-2-Hydroxyglutaric acid + acceptor → Oxoglutaric acid + reduced acceptordetails