3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||g·mol−1 175.140|
|Appearance||Colourless, transparent crystals|
|Melting point||137 to 140 °C (279 to 284 °F; 410 to 413 K)|
|Boiling point||141 to 144 °C (286 to 291 °F; 414 to 417 K)|
|S-phrases (outdated)||S22, S24/25|
Related alkanoic acids
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
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 detected in the adult brain in neurons, oligodendrocytes and myelin and is synthesized in the mitochondria from the amino acid aspartic acid and acetyl-coenzyme A.
The various functions served by NAA are under investigation, but the primary proposed functions include:
- Neuronal osmolyte that is involved in fluid balance in the brain
- Source of acetate for lipid and myelin synthesis in oligodendrocytes, the glial cells that myelinate neuronal axons
- Precursor for the synthesis of the neuronal dipeptide N-Acetylaspartylglutamate
- Contributor to energy production from the amino acid glutamate in neuronal mitochondria
However, the recent discovery of a higher concentration of NAA in myelin and oligodendrocytes than in neurons raises questions about the validity of the use of NAA as a neuronal marker. NAA gives off the largest signal in magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the human brain. 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 potential diagnostic molecule for doctors treating patients with brain damage or disease.
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