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
Creation Date2006-05-22 15:12:25 UTC
Update Date2016-02-11 01:05:57 UTC
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Metabolite Identification
Common NameLycopene
DescriptionLycopene (molecular formula: C40H56) is a bright red carotenoid pigment, a phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits. Lycopene is the most common carotenoid in the human body and is one of the most potent carotenoid antioxidants. Its name is derived from the tomato's species classification, Solanum lycopersicum. -- Wikipedia; Lycopene is a terpene assembled from 8 isoprene units. -- Wikipedia; Lycopene is the most powerful carotenoid quencher of singlet oxygen. Singlet oxygen from ultraviolet light is a primary cause of skin aging. -- Wikipedia.
lyco VitHMDB
Lycopene 7HMDB
Chemical FormulaC40H56
Average Molecular Weight536.8726
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight536.438201792
IUPAC Name(6E,8E,10E,12E,14E,16E,18E,20E,22E,24E,26E)-2,6,10,14,19,23,27,31-octamethyldotriaconta-2,6,8,10,12,14,16,18,20,22,24,26,30-tridecaene
Traditional Namelycopene
CAS Registry Number502-65-8
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
  • Acyclic olefin
  • Olefin
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
StatusDetected and Quantified
  • Food
  • Cell signaling
  • Fuel and energy storage
  • Fuel or energy source
  • Membrane integrity/stability
  • Nutrients
  • Stabilizers
  • Surfactants and Emulsifiers
Cellular locations
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane (predicted from logP)
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point175 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water SolubilityNot AvailableNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.000397 mg/mLALOGPS
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area0 Å2ChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count16ChemAxon
Refractivity197.81 m3·mol-1ChemAxon
Polarizability73.69 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, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, PositiveNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, NegativeNot Available
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, NegativeNot Available
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane (predicted from logP)
Biofluid Locations
  • Blood
Tissue Location
  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adrenal Gland
  • Fibroblasts
  • Intestine
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Lymphocyte
  • Pancreas
  • Platelet
  • Prostate
  • Skin
  • Spleen
  • Stratum Corneum
PathwaysNot Available
Normal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.743 +/- 0.168 uMAdult (>18 years old)Female
BloodDetected and Quantified0.01 (0.008-0.014) uMAdult (>18 years old)FemaleNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0.34 +/- 0.12 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
BloodDetected and Quantified0.52 +/- 0.17 uMAdult (>18 years old)BothNormal details
Abnormal Concentrations
BloodDetected and Quantified0.009 (0.008-0.01) 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 IDFDB015833
KNApSAcK IDC00000911
Chemspider ID394156
KEGG Compound IDC05432
BioCyc IDCPD1F-114
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkLycopene
NuGOwiki LinkHMDB03000
Metagene LinkHMDB03000
PubChem Compound446925
ChEBI ID15948
Synthesis ReferenceIto, Shuichi; Yamaguchi, Yuzo. Fermentative production of lycopene. Jpn. Tokkyo Koho (1973), 5 pp.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. 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 ]
  2. Aust O, Stahl W, Sies H, Tronnier H, Heinrich U: Supplementation with tomato-based products increases lycopene, phytofluene, and phytoene levels in human serum and protects against UV-light-induced erythema. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2005 Jan;75(1):54-60. [15830922 ]
  3. Sengupta A, Das S: The anti-carcinogenic role of lycopene, abundantly present in tomato. Eur J Cancer Prev. 1999 Aug;8(4):325-30. [10493308 ]
  4. Porrini M, Riso P: Lymphocyte lycopene concentration and DNA protection from oxidative damage is increased in women after a short period of tomato consumption. J Nutr. 2000 Feb;130(2):189-92. [10720168 ]
  5. Bohm V, Bitsch R: Intestinal absorption of lycopene from different matrices and interactions to other carotenoids, the lipid status, and the antioxidant capacity of human plasma. Eur J Nutr. 1999 Jun;38(3):118-25. [10443333 ]
  6. Stahl W, von Laar J, Martin HD, Emmerich T, Sies H: Stimulation of gap junctional communication: comparison of acyclo-retinoic acid and lycopene. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2000 Jan 1;373(1):271-4. [10620348 ]
  7. Kravchenko LV, Morozov SV, Beketova NA, Deryagina VP, Avren'eva LI, Tutel'yan VA: Antioxidant status of rats receiving lycopene in different doses. Bull Exp Biol Med. 2003 Apr;135(4):353-7. [12910307 ]
  8. Zaripheh S, Nara TY, Nakamura MT, Erdman JW Jr: Dietary lycopene downregulates carotenoid 15,15'-monooxygenase and PPAR-gamma in selected rat tissues. J Nutr. 2006 Apr;136(4):932-8. [16549453 ]
  9. Hsiao G, Wang Y, Tzu NH, Fong TH, Shen MY, Lin KH, Chou DS, Sheu JR: Inhibitory effects of lycopene on in vitro platelet activation and in vivo prevention of thrombus formation. J Lab Clin Med. 2005 Oct;146(4):216-26. [16194683 ]
  10. Gerster H: The potential role of lycopene for human health. J Am Coll Nutr. 1997 Apr;16(2):109-26. [9100211 ]
  11. Stahl W, Sies H: Carotenoids and protection against solar UV radiation. Skin Pharmacol Appl Skin Physiol. 2002 Sep-Oct;15(5):291-6. [12239422 ]
  12. Ermakov IV, Ermakova MR, Gellermann W, Lademann J: Noninvasive selective detection of lycopene and beta-carotene in human skin using Raman spectroscopy. J Biomed Opt. 2004 Mar-Apr;9(2):332-8. [15065899 ]
  13. Walfisch Y, Walfisch S, Agbaria R, Levy J, Sharoni Y: Lycopene in serum, skin and adipose tissues after tomato-oleoresin supplementation in patients undergoing haemorrhoidectomy or peri-anal fistulotomy. Br J Nutr. 2003 Oct;90(4):759-66. [13129444 ]
  14. Ribaya-Mercado JD, Garmyn M, Gilchrest BA, Russell RM: Skin lycopene is destroyed preferentially over beta-carotene during ultraviolet irradiation in humans. J Nutr. 1995 Jul;125(7):1854-9. [7616301 ]
  15. Yeh S, Hu M: Antioxidant and pro-oxidant effects of lycopene in comparison with beta-carotene on oxidant-induced damage in Hs68 cells. J Nutr Biochem. 2000 Nov;11(11-12):548-554. [11137891 ]
  16. Riso P, Visioli F, Erba D, Testolin G, Porrini M: Lycopene and vitamin C concentrations increase in plasma and lymphocytes after tomato intake. Effects on cellular antioxidant protection. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct;58(10):1350-8. [15054415 ]
  17. Arab L, Steck S: Lycopene and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun;71(6 Suppl):1691S-5S; discussion 1696S-7S. [10837319 ]
  18. Michael McClain R, Bausch J: Summary of safety studies conducted with synthetic lycopene. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2003 Apr;37(2):274-85. [12726756 ]


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: