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N-Acetyl-DL-tryptophan was studied for its possible anti-​inflammatory and antinociceptive activities from the extraction of a Turkish plant, Salsola grandis.

DL-Amino Acids
Catalog number
CAS number
Molecular Formula
Molecular Weight
2-acetamido-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propanoic acid
2-Acetylamino-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propionic acid; Ac-DL-Trp-OH; N-Acetyltryptophan; DL-Acetyltryptophan; acetyltryptophan; Ac DL Trp OH; 2-acetamido-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propanoic acid; DL-N-Acetyltryptophan; DL-Tryptophan, N-acetyl-; 2-acetamido-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propanoic acid
Related CAS
1218-34-4 (L-isomer)
White to off-white powder
≥ 99% (Assay)
1.330 g/cm3
Melting Point
204-206 °C (dec.)
Boiling Point
586.6 °C at 760 mmHg
Store at 2-8 °C
InChI Key
Canonical SMILES
1. Chromatographic determination of N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan and octanoic acid in human albumin solutions
H J Nelis, M F Lefevere, E Baert, W D'Hoore, A P De Leenheer J Chromatogr. 1985 Oct 4;333(2):381-7. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9673(01)87367-2.
Chromatographic procedures have been developed for determination of the stabilizers N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan and octanoic acid in human albumin solutions. N-Acetyl-DL-tryptophan and the internal standard, N-formyl-DL-tryptophan, were separated by liquid chromatography on a reversed-phase column with UV detection at 280 nm. Deproteinization and extraction were carried out with methanol. The extraction recovery at the level of 4.9 mM was 92.5 +/- 2.5% (S.D.) (n = 10), and the average coefficient of variation (C.V.) for replicate analyses of albumin solutions (mean = 2.57, 10.44 and 17.10 mM) was 1.10% (n = 27). Octanoic acid was determined gas chromatographically as its methyl ester, with nonanoic acid as the internal standard. The sample pretreatment included acidification, extraction with hexane and derivatization with methanol-sulphuric acid. The relative recovery from albumin solutions was 89.7 +/- 5.8% (S.D.) (n = 6), and replicate determinations of the compound yielded a C.V. of 5.5% (mean = 14.82 mM, n = 9).
2. Mitigation of Oxidation in Therapeutic Antibody Formulations: a Biochemical Efficacy and Safety Evaluation of N-Acetyl-Tryptophan and L-Methionine
Michelle Z Dion, Danielle Leiske, Vikas K Sharma, Christina L Zuch de Zafra, Cleo M Salisbury Pharm Res. 2018 Oct 2;35(11):222. doi: 10.1007/s11095-018-2467-5.
Purpose: Biotherapeutics can be susceptible to oxidation during manufacturing and storage. Free L-methionine is known to protect methionine residues in proteins from oxidation. Similarly, free tryptophan and other indole derivatives have been shown to protect tryptophan residues from oxidation. N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan was previously identified as a potentially superior antioxidant to tryptophan as it has a lower oxidation potential and produces less peroxide upon light exposure. This study sought to confirm the antioxidant efficacy and safety of N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan and L-methionine as formulation components for biotherapeutic drugs. Methods: Antibodies were subjected to AAPH and light exposure in the presence of N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan and L-methionine. Oxidation in relevant CDR and Fc residues was quantified by peptide map. In silico, in vitro, and in vivo studies were performed to evaluate the safety of N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan and L-methionine. Results: Peptide mapping demonstrated that N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan was effective at protecting tryptophans from AAPH stress, and that the combination of N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan and L-methionine protected both tryptophan and methionine from AAPH stress. The safety assessment suggested an acceptable safety profile for both excipients. Conclusions: N-acetyl-tryptophan and L-methionine effectively reduce the oxidation of susceptible tryptophan and methionine residues in antibodies and are safe for use in parenteral biotherapeutic formulations.
3. N-acetyl-l-tryptophan, but not N-acetyl-d-tryptophan, rescues neuronal cell death in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Ana C Sirianni, Jiying Jiang, Jiang Zeng, Lilly L Mao, Shuanhu Zhou, Peter Sugarbaker, Xinmu Zhang, Wei Li, Robert M Friedlander, Xin Wang J Neurochem. 2015 Sep;134(5):956-68. doi: 10.1111/jnc.13190. Epub 2015 Jul 14.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motor neuron loss. Evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, oxidative stress, inflammation, glutamate excitotoxicity, and proteasomal dysfunction are all responsible for ALS pathogenesis. N-acetyl-tryptophan has been identified as an inhibitor of mitochondrial cytochrome c release and therefore is a potential neuroprotective agent. By quantifying cell death, we demonstrate that N-acetyl-l-tryptophan (L-NAT) and N-acetyl-DL-tryptophan are neuroprotective in NSC-34 motor neuron-like cells and/or primary motor neurons, while their isomer N-acetyl-d-tryptophan has no protective effect. These findings are consistent with energy minimization and molecular modeling analysis, confirming that L-NAT generates the most stable complex with the neurokinin-1 receptor (NK-1R). L-NAT inhibits the secretion of Substance P and IL-1β (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and/or dot blots) and mitochondrial dysfunction by effectively inhibiting the release of cytochrome c/Smac/AIF from mitochondria into the cytoplasm and activation of apoptotic pathways, including the activation of caspase-1, -9, and -3, as well as proteasomal dysfunction through restoring chymotrypsin-like, trypsin-like, and caspase-like proteasome activity. These data provide insight into the molecular mechanisms by which L-NAT offers neuroprotection in models of ALS and suggest its potential as a novel therapeutic strategy for ALS. We demonstrate that L-NAT (N-acetyl-l-tryptophan), but not D-NAT, rescues NSC-34 cells and primary motor neurons from cell death. L-NAT inhibits the secretion of Substance P and IL-1β, and caspase-1 activation, the release of cytochrome c/Smac/AIF, and the activation of caspase -9, and -3, as well as proteasomal dysfunction. The data suggest the potential of L-NAT as a novel therapeutic strategy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). AIF, apoptosis-inducing factor.
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