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Record Information
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2013-05-29 19:29:03 UTC
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Metabolite Identification
Common NameAzelaic acid
DescriptionAzelaic acid (AZA) is a naturally occurring saturated nine-carbon dicarboxylic acid (COOH (CH2)7-COOH). It possesses a variety of biological actions both in vitro and in vivo. Interest in the biological activity of AZA arose originally out of studies of skin surface lipids and the pathogenesis of hypochromia in pityriasis versicolor infection. Later, it was shown that Pityrosporum can oxidize unsaturated fatty acids to C8-C12 dicarboxylic acids that are cornpetitive inhibitors of tyrosinase in vitro. Azelaic acid was chosen for further investigation and development of a new topical drug for treating hyperpigmentary disorders for the following reasons: it possesses a middle-range of antityrosinase activity, is inexpensive, and more soluble to be incorporated into a base cream than other dicarboxylic acids. Azelaic acid is another option for the topical treatment of mild to moderate inflammatory acne vulgaris. It offers effectiveness similar to that of other agents without the systemic side effects of oral antibiotics or the allergic sensitization of topical benzoyl peroxide and with less irritation than tretinoin. Azelaic acid is less expensive than certain other prescription acne preparations, but it is much more expensive than nonprescription benzoyl peroxide preparations. Whether it is safe and effective when used in combination with other agents is not known. (PMID: 7737781 , 8961845 ).
  1. 1,7-Dicarboxyheptane
  2. 1,7-Heptanedicarboxylate
  3. 1,7-Heptanedicarboxylic acid
  4. 1,9-Nonanedioate
  5. 1,9-Nonanedioic acid
  6. Anchoate
  7. Anchoic acid
  8. Azalaic acid
  9. Azelaic acid
  10. Azelaicacidtech
  11. Azelainic acid
  12. Azelate
  13. Azelex
  14. Emerox 1110
  15. Emerox 1144
  16. Emery'S L-110
  17. Finacea
  18. Finevin
  19. Heptanedicarboxylic acid
  20. Lepargylate
  21. Lepargylic acid
  22. N-Nonanedioate
  23. N-Nonanedioic acid
  24. Nonanedioate
  25. Nonanedioic acid
  26. Nonanedioic acid azelaic acid
  27. Nonanedioic acid homopolymer
  28. Poly(azelaic anhydride)
  29. Polyazelaic anhydride
  30. Skinorem
  31. Skinoren
Chemical FormulaC9H16O4
Average Molecular Weight188.2209
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight188.104859
IUPAC Namenonanedioic acid
Traditional Nameazelaic acid
CAS Registry Number123-99-9
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
KingdomOrganic Compounds
Super ClassOrganic Acids and Derivatives
ClassCarboxylic Acids and Derivatives
Sub ClassDicarboxylic Acids and Derivatives
Other Descriptors
  • Aliphatic Acyclic Compounds
  • Dicarboxylic acids(KEGG)
  • Dicarboxylic acids(Lipidmaps)
  • Fatty Acids and Conjugates
  • alpha,omega-dicarboxylic acid(ChEBI)
  • Carboxylic Acid
Direct ParentDicarboxylic Acids and Derivatives
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Endogenous
BiofunctionNot Available
ApplicationNot Available
Cellular locationsNot Available
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point106.5 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility2.4 mg/mLNot Available
LogP1.57HANSCH,C ET AL. (1995)
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility2.28 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)4.15ChemAxon
Physiological Charge-2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count4ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count2ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area74.6ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count8ChemAxon
Biological Properties
Cellular LocationsNot Available
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)
  • Urine
Tissue Location
  • Prostate
  • Skin
PathwaysNot Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified27.0 (0.0-58.0) uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)Detected and Quantified17.0 +/- 17.0 uMAdult (>18 years old)Not SpecifiedNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified2.5 (0.1-12.3) umol/mmol creatinineNewborn (0-30 days old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified3.6 (0.1-4.4) umol/mmol creatinineInfant (0-1 year old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified4.3 (1.0-11.7) umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1-13 years old)Both
UrineDetected and Quantified3.7 (0.6-17.6) umol/mmol creatinineAdolescent (13-18 years old)Both
UrineDetected but not QuantifiedNot ApplicableAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified2.21 +/- 1.67 umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothNot Available details
UrineDetected but not QuantifiedNot ApplicableAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected but not QuantifiedNot ApplicableAdult (>18 years old)Both
UrineDetected and Quantified4.8 (1.3-15) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
UrineDetected and Quantified2.8 (1.8-4.8) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Both
UrineDetected and Quantified1.9 (1.2-3.2) umol/mmol creatinineAdult (>18 years old)Both
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease ReferencesNone
Associated OMIM IDsNone
DrugBank IDDB00548
DrugBank Metabolite IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Metabolite IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB012192
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider ID2179
KEGG Compound IDC08261
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkNonanedioic acid
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB00784
Metagene LinkHMDB00784
PubChem Compound2266
ChEBI ID48131
Synthesis ReferenceChen, Song; Yan, Jinlong. Synthesis of azelaic acid by chemical oxidation with oleic acid. Pige Huagong (2003), 20(6), 31-35.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Sreekumar A, Poisson LM, Rajendiran TM, Khan AP, Cao Q, Yu J, Laxman B, Mehra R, Lonigro RJ, Li Y, Nyati MK, Ahsan A, Kalyana-Sundaram S, Han B, Cao X, Byun J, Omenn GS, Ghosh D, Pennathur S, Alexander DC, Berger A, Shuster JR, Wei JT, Varambally S, Beecher C, Chinnaiyan AM: Metabolomic profiles delineate potential role for sarcosine in prostate cancer progression. Nature. 2009 Feb 12;457(7231):910-4. Pubmed: 19212411
  2. Hoffmann GF, Meier-Augenstein W, Stockler S, Surtees R, Rating D, Nyhan WL: Physiology and pathophysiology of organic acids in cerebrospinal fluid. J Inherit Metab Dis. 1993;16(4):648-69. Pubmed: 8412012
  3. Mayer-da-Silva A, Gollnick H, Detmar M, Gassmuller J, Parry A, Muller R, Orfanos CE: Effects of azelaic acid on sebaceous gland, sebum excretion rate and keratinization pattern in human skin. An in vivo and in vitro study. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl (Stockh). 1989;143:20-30. Pubmed: 2475995
  4. Hermanns JF, Petit L, Martalo O, Pierard-Franchimont C, Cauwenbergh G, Pierard GE: Unraveling the patterns of subclinical pheomelanin-enriched facial hyperpigmentation: effect of depigmenting agents. Dermatology. 2000;201(2):118-22. Pubmed: 11053913
  5. Korman SH, Mandel H, Gutman A: Characteristic urine organic acid profile in peroxisomal biogenesis disorders. J Inherit Metab Dis. 2000 Jun;23(4):425-8. Pubmed: 10896310
  6. Rocamora V, Puig L, Romani J, de Moragas JM: Amelanotic lentigo maligna melanoma: report of a case and review of the literature. Cutis. 1999 Jul;64(1):53-6. Pubmed: 10431675
  7. Russell JJ: Topical therapy for acne. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Jan 15;61(2):357-66. Pubmed: 10670502
  8. Webster G: Combination azelaic acid therapy for acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000 Aug;43(2 Pt 3):S47-50. Pubmed: 10898830
  9. Del Rosso JQ: A status report on the medical management of rosacea: focus on topical therapies. Cutis. 2002 Nov;70(5):271-5. Pubmed: 12469780
  10. Liao DC: Management of acne. J Fam Pract. 2003 Jan;52(1):43-51. Pubmed: 12540312
  11. Del Rosso JQ: Medical treatment of rosacea with emphasis on topical therapies. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2004 Jan;5(1):5-13. Pubmed: 14680431
  12. Wolf JE Jr: The role of topical metronidazole in the treatment of rosacea. Cutis. 2004 Jan;73(1 Suppl):19-28. Pubmed: 14959942
  13. Frampton JE, Wagstaff AJ: Azelaic acid 15% gel: in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(1):57-64. Pubmed: 14979745
  14. Halder RM, Richards GM: Management of dyschromias in ethnic skin. Dermatol Ther. 2004;17(2):151-7. Pubmed: 15113282
  15. Halder RM, Richards GM: Topical agents used in the management of hyperpigmentation. Skin Therapy Lett. 2004 Jun-Jul;9(6):1-3. Pubmed: 15334278
  16. Lindow KB: Rosacea. An overview of diagnosis and management. Adv Nurse Pract. 2004 Dec;12(12):27-32. Pubmed: 15615217
  17. Cayce KA, McMichael AJ, Feldman SR: Hyperpigmentation: an overview of the common afflictions. Dermatol Nurs. 2004 Oct;16(5):401-6, 413-6; quiz 417. Pubmed: 15624705
  18. Wolf JE Jr: Present and future rosacea therapy. Cutis. 2005 Mar;75(3 Suppl):4-7; discussion 33-6. Pubmed: 15810803
  19. van Zuuren EJ, Graber MA: The rigor of trials evaluating Rosacea treatments. Cutis. 2005 Mar;75(3 Suppl):13-6; discussion 33-6. Pubmed: 15810805
  20. Purdy S: Acne vulgaris. Clin Evid. 2005 Jun;(13):2038-59. Pubmed: 16135322
  21. Roebuck HL: Face up to rosacea. Nurse Pract. 2005 Sep;30(9):24-30, 35; quiz 36-7. Pubmed: 16151303
  22. Callender VD: Considerations for treating acne in ethnic skin. Cutis. 2005 Aug;76(2 Suppl):19-23. Pubmed: 16164153
  23. Nally JB, Berson DS: Topical therapies for rosacea. J Drugs Dermatol. 2006 Jan;5(1):23-6. Pubmed: 16468288
  24. Fleischer AB Jr: The evolution of azelaic acid. Cutis. 2006 Feb;77(2 Suppl):4-6. Pubmed: 16566281
  25. Draelos ZD: The rationale for advancing the formulation of azelaic acid vehicles. Cutis. 2006 Feb;77(2 Suppl):7-11. Pubmed: 16566282
  26. Elewski B, Thiboutot D: A clinical overview of azelaic acid. Cutis. 2006 Feb;77(2 Suppl):12-6. Pubmed: 16566283
  27. Del Rosso JQ: The use of topical azelaic acid for common skin disorders other than inflammatory rosacea. Cutis. 2006 Feb;77(2 Suppl):22-4. Pubmed: 16566285
  28. Worret WI, Fluhr JW: [Acne therapy with topical benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics and azelaic acid] J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2006 Apr;4(4):293-300. Pubmed: 16638058
  29. Liu RH, Smith MK, Basta SA, Farmer ER: Azelaic acid in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Arch Dermatol. 2006 Aug;142(8):1047-52. Pubmed: 16924055
  30. Goodman G: Managing acne vulgaris effectively. Aust Fam Physician. 2006 Sep;35(9):705-9. Pubmed: 16969442
  31. Purdy S: Acne vulgaris. Clin Evid. 2006 Jun;(15):2183-201. Pubmed: 16973084
  32. Gupta AK, Gover MD, Nouri K, Taylor S: The treatment of melasma: a review of clinical trials. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Dec;55(6):1048-65. Epub 2006 Sep 28. Pubmed: 17097400
  33. Fitton A, Goa KL: Azelaic acid. A review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy in acne and hyperpigmentary skin disorders. Drugs. 1991 May;41(5):780-98. Pubmed: 1712709
  34. van Zuuren EJ, Gupta AK, Gover MD, Graber M, Hollis S: Systematic review of rosacea treatments. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Jan;56(1):107-15. Epub 2006 Nov 7. Pubmed: 17190628
  35. Gupta AK, Gover MD: Azelaic acid (15% gel) in the treatment of acne rosacea. Int J Dermatol. 2007 May;46(5):533-8. Pubmed: 17472690
  36. Nguyen QH, Bui TP: Azelaic acid: pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and its therapeutic role in hyperpigmentary disorders and acne. Int J Dermatol. 1995 Feb;34(2):75-84. Pubmed: 7737781
  37. Mackrides PS, Shaughnessy AF: Azelaic acid therapy for acne. Am Fam Physician. 1996 Dec;54(8):2457-9. Pubmed: 8961845


General function:
Involved in oxidoreductase activity
Specific function:
This is a copper-containing oxidase that functions in the formation of pigments such as melanins and other polyphenolic compounds. Catalyzes the rate-limiting conversions of tyrosine to DOPA, DOPA to DOPA-quinone and possibly 5,6-dihydroxyindole to indole-5,6 quinone.
Gene Name:
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  1. Schallreuter KU, Wood JW: A possible mechanism of action for azelaic acid in the human epidermis. Arch Dermatol Res. 1990;282(3):168-71. Pubmed: 2114832
  2. Nazzaro-Porro M: Azelaic acid. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1987 Dec;17(6):1033-41. Pubmed: 2963038
  3. Picardo M, Passi S, Sirianni MC, Fiorilli M, Russo GD, Cortesi E, Barile G, Breathnach AS, Nazzaro-Porro M: Activity of azelaic acid on cultures of lymphoma- and leukemia-derived cell lines, normal resting and stimulated lymphocytes and 3T3 fibroblasts. Biochem Pharmacol. 1985 May 15;34(10):1653-8. Pubmed: 4004885
  4. Nazzaro-Porro M, Passi S, Balus L, Breathnach A, Martin B, Morpurgo G: Effect of dicarboxylic acids on lentigo maligna. J Invest Dermatol. 1979 Jun;72(6):296-305. Pubmed: 448162
General function:
Involved in oxidoreductase activity
Specific function:
Efficiently catalyzes the reduction of progesterone, androstenedione, 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone and testosterone to 5-beta-reduced metabolites. The bile acid intermediates 7-alpha,12-alpha-dihydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one and 7-alpha-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one can also act as substrates.
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  1. Stamatiadis D, Bulteau-Portois MC, Mowszowicz I: Inhibition of 5 alpha-reductase activity in human skin by zinc and azelaic acid. Br J Dermatol. 1988 Nov;119(5):627-32. Pubmed: 3207614
General function:
Involved in 3-oxo-5-alpha-steroid 4-dehydrogenase activity
Specific function:
Converts testosterone (T) into 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and progesterone or corticosterone into their corresponding 5-alpha-3-oxosteroids. It plays a central role in sexual differentiation and androgen physiology.
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  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. Stamatiadis D, Bulteau-Portois MC, Mowszowicz I: Inhibition of 5 alpha-reductase activity in human skin by zinc and azelaic acid. Br J Dermatol. 1988 Nov;119(5):627-32. Pubmed: 3207614