N-Acetylaspartic acid

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N-Acetylaspartic acid
IUPAC name (2S)-2-Acetamidobutanedioic acid
Other names Acetylaspartic acid
N-Acetylaspartic acid
N-Acetyl-L-aspartate
Acetyl-L-aspartic acid
N-Acetyl-L-aspartic acid
Identifiers
3D model (JSmol)
Abbreviations NAA
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MeSH N-acetylaspartate
RTECS number CI9098600
Properties
C6H9NO5
Molar mass 175.139 g/mol
Melting point
Hazards
S-phrases S22 S24/25
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

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N-Acetylaspartic acid, or N-acetylaspartate (NAA), is a derivative of aspartic acid with a formula of C6H9NO5 and a molecular weight of 175.139.

NAA is the second-most-concentrated molecule in the brain after the amino acid glutamate. It is synthesized in neurons from the amino acid aspartic acid and acetyl-coenzyme A. The various functions served by NAA are still under investigation, but the primary proposed functions include its being:

  1. A neuronal osmolyte that is involved in fluid balance in the brain
  2. A source of acetate for lipid and myelin synthesis in oligodendrocytes, the glial cells that myelinate neuronal axons
  3. A precursor for the synthesis of the important neuronal dipeptide N-Acetylaspartylglutamate
  4. A contributor to energy production from the amino acid glutamate in neuronal mitochondria.

NAA gives off the largest signal in magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the human brain, and the levels measured there are decreased in numerous neuropathological conditions ranging from brain injury to stroke to Alzheimer's disease. This fact makes NAA a reliable diagnostic molecule for doctors treating patients with brain damage or disease.

See also

References

  • N-Acetylaspartate: A Unique Neuronal Molecule in the Central Nervous System, eds., J.R.Moffett, S.B.Tieman, D.R.Weinberger, J.T.Coyle, and M.A.Namboodiri, pp. 7-26. New York, NY: Springer Science + Business Media, 2006.

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