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DL-Leucine, an isomer of Leucine, is a chemosterilant and dietary additive. DL-Leucine inhibits growth of Escherichia coli HfrH by 92.08%.

DL-Amino Acids
Catalog number
CAS number
Molecular Formula
Molecular Weight
2-amino-4-methylpentanoic acid
DL-Leu-OH; (RS)-2-Amino-4-methylpentanoic acid
White to Off-white Solid
≥ 98.5% (Assay)
1,293 g/cm3
Melting Point
>252°C (dec.)
Boiling Point
225.8±23.0 °C(Predicted)
Store at RT
Soluble in Acetic Acid (Slightly), Aqueous Base (Slightly), Water (Slightly, Heated)
InChI Key
Canonical SMILES
1. Safety and Efficacy of Acetyl-DL-Leucine in Certain Types of Cerebellar Ataxia: The ALCAT Randomized Clinical Crossover Trial
Katharina Feil, Thomas Klopstock, Claudia Stendel, Sylvia Boesch, Ilaria Giordano, Katharina Marie Steiner, Michael Strupp, Ludger Schöls, Sarah Doss, Heike Jacobi, ALCAT Study Group, Wolfgang Nachbauer, Ulrich Mansmann, Holger Hengel, Ivonne Naumann, Thomas Klockgether, Dagmar Timmann, Christine Adrion JAMA Netw Open . 2021 Dec 1;4(12):e2135841. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.35841.
Importance:Cerebellar ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease impairing motor function characterized by ataxia of stance, gait, speech, and fine motor disturbances.Objective:To investigate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of the modified essential amino acid acetyl-DL-leucine in treating patients who have cerebellar ataxia.Design, setting, and participants:The Acetyl-DL-leucine on Cerebellar Ataxia (ALCAT) trial was an investigator-initiated, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical crossover trial. The study was conducted at 7 university hospitals in Germany and Austria between January 25, 2016, and February 17, 2017. Patients were aged at least 18 years and diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia of hereditary (suspected or genetically confirmed) or nonhereditary or unknown type presenting with a total score of at least 3 points on the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA). Statistical analysis was performed from April 2018 to June 2018 and January 2020 to March 2020.Interventions:Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive acetyl-DL-leucine orally (5 g per day after 2 weeks up-titration) followed by a matched placebo, each for 6 weeks, separated by a 4-week washout, or vice versa. The randomization was done via a web-based, permuted block-wise randomization list (block size, 2) that was stratified by disease subtype (hereditary vs nonhereditary or unknown) and site.Main outcomes and measures:Primary efficacy outcome was the absolute change of SARA total score from (period-dependent) baseline to week 6.Results:Among 108 patients who were randomly assigned to sequence groups (54 patients each), 55 (50.9%) were female; the mean (SD) age was 54.8 (14.4) years; and the mean (SD) SARA total score was 13.33 (5.57) points. The full analysis set included 105 patients (80 patients with hereditary, 25 with nonhereditary or unknown cerebellar ataxia). There was no evidence of a difference in the mean absolute change from baseline to week 6 in SARA total scores between both treatments (mean treatment difference: 0.23 points [95% CI, -0.40 to 0.85 points]).Conclusions and relevance:In this large multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical crossover trial, acetyl-DL-leucine in the investigated dosage and treatment duration was not superior to placebo for the symptomatic treatment of certain types of ataxia. The drug was well tolerated; and ALCAT yielded valuable information about the duration of treatment periods and the role of placebo response in cerebellar ataxia. These findings suggest that further symptom-oriented trials are needed for evaluating the long-term effects of acetyl-DL-leucine for well-defined subgroups of cerebellar ataxia.Trial registration:EudraCT 2015-000460-34.
2. The Effect of N-Acetyl-DL-Leucine on Neurological Symptoms in a Patient with Ataxia-Telangiectasia: a Case Study
Maryam Saberi-Karimian, Eric Gumpricht, Amirhosein Sahebkar, Mansoureh Mirzadeh, Mehran Beyraghi-Tousi Cerebellum . 2022 Feb 7. doi: 10.1007/s12311-022-01371-x.
Ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder with no available curative treatment. Although the positive effects of N-acetyl-DL-leucine on cerebellar ataxia have been reported previously, there is little evidence of N-acetyl-DL-leucine's effects in patients with AT. This study assessed the effect of 16 weeks N-acetyl-DL-leucine supplementation on ataxia symptoms in a 9-year-old female with AT. The subject consumed 4 g/day N-acetyl-DL-leucine (2 g in the morning and 2 g in the evening) for 16 weeks. Safety was assessed via clinical blood chemistry prior to the intervention and after 6 and 16 weeks. Additionally, The Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) score was used to assess the drug's effects on ataxia symptoms at baseline, 6, 12, and 16 weeks. Quality of life has also been evaluated by a specialist using the PedsQL questionnaire.Despite some initial (first week only) nausea and constipation, supplementation with N-acetyl-DL-leucine was well tolerated and safe according to blood chemistry measures. The SARA score progressively improved, and by week 16 had improved by 11.0 points (48.88%). Parent and self-reported quality of life assessments indicated physical, emotional, social, and school functions all improved by 16 weeks. Supplementation with N-acetyl-DL-leucine at a dose of 4 g/day for 16 weeks was well tolerated and significantly improved ataxia symptoms and quality of life measures in a young child with AT.
3. Unexpected differences in the pharmacokinetics of N-acetyl-DL-leucine enantiomers after oral dosing and their clinical relevance
Antony Galione, Frances M Platt, Michael Strupp, Grant C Churchill PLoS One . 2020 Feb 27;15(2):e0229585. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229585.
The enantiomers of many chiral drugs not only exhibit different pharmacological effects in regard to targets that dictate therapeutic and toxic effects, but are also handled differently in the body due to pharmacokinetic effects. We investigated the pharmacokinetics of the enantiomers of N-acetyl-leucine after administration of the racemate (N-acetyl-DL-leucine) or purified, pharmacologically active L-enantiomer (N-acetyl-L-leucine). The results suggest that during chronic administration of the racemate, the D-enantiomer would accumulate, which could have negative effects. Compounds were administered orally to mice. Plasma and tissue samples were collected at predetermined time points (0.25 to 8 h), quantified with liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, and pharmacokinetic constants were calculated using a noncompartmental model. When administered as the racemate, both the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and the area under the plasma drug concentration over time curve (AUC) were much greater for the D-enantiomer relative to the L-enantiomer. When administered as the L-enantiomer, the dose proportionality was greater than unity compared to the racemate, suggesting saturable processes affecting uptake and/or metabolism. Elimination (ke and T1/2) was similar for both enantiomers. These results are most readily explained by inhibition of uptake at an intestinal carrier of the L-enantiomer by the D-enantiomer, and by first-pass metabolism of the L-, but not D-enantiomer, likely by deacetylation. In brain and muscle, N-acetyl-L-leucine levels were lower than N-acetyl-D-leucine, consistent with rapid conversion into L-leucine and utilization by normal leucine metabolism. In summary, the enantiomers of N-acetyl-leucine exhibit large, unexpected differences in pharmacokinetics due to both unique handling and/or inhibition of uptake and metabolism of the L-enantiomer by the D-enantiomer. Taken together, these results have clinical implications supporting the use of N-acetyl-L-leucine instead of the racemate or N-acetyl-D-leucine, and support the research and development of only N-acetyl-L-leucine.
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