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Record Information
Created at2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Updated at2021-07-01 14:26:57 UTC
NP-MRD IDNP0000301
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Natural Product Identification
Common NameBilirubin
DescriptionBilirubin is a yellow bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. It occurs in the normal catabolic pathway that breaks down heme in vertebrates. This catabolism is a necessary process in the body's clearance of waste products that arise from the destruction of aged or abnormal red blood cells. Bilirubin has been found in all vertebrates and in certain plants including Strelitzia nicolai (PMID: 28573242 ). Bilirubin levels in humans are elevated in certain diseases such as jaundice and liver disease and it is responsible for the yellow color of bruises and the yellow discoloration in jaundice. Bilirubin breakdown products, such as stercobilin, cause the brown color of feces. A different breakdown product, urobilin, is the main component of the straw-yellow color in urine. Bilirubin consists of an open chain of four pyrroles (tetrapyrrole). It is formed by oxidative cleavage of a porphyrin in heme, which leads to biliverdin, a green tetrapyrrolic bile pigment that is also a product of heme catabolism. Biliverdin is then reduced to bilirubin via biliverdin reductase. After conjugation with glucuronic acid, bilirubin can be excreted in the urine. Bilirubin is structurally similar to the pigment phycobilin used by certain algae to capture light energy, and to the pigment phytochrome used by plants to sense light. Elevated bilirubin levels in humans are associated with Crigler-Najjar syndrome type I, which is an inborn error of metabolism. Crigler-Najjar syndrome is a rare genetic disorder characterized by an inability to properly convert and clear bilirubin from the body. Affected individuals cannot convert unconjugated bilirubin to the conjugated form because they lack a specific liver enzyme required to break down (metabolize) bilirubin. Since they cannot convert bilirubin, they develop abnormally high levels of unconjugated bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia). Crigler-Najjar syndrome is caused by mutations in the UGT1A1 gene. The hallmark finding of Crigler-Najjar syndrome is a persistent yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes and whites of the eyes (jaundice). Elevation of both alanine aminotransferase and bilirubin levels in serum or plasma can be indicative of serious liver injury. High levels of bilirubin are indicative of jaundice, which is easily recognizable due to a yellowing of the skin and eyes. Bilirubin is also an antioxidant. Bilirubin's antioxidant activity may be particularly important in the brain, where it prevents excitotoxicity and neuronal death by scavenging superoxide during N-methyl-D-aspartic acid neurotransmission (PMID: 31353321 ).
1,10,19,22,23,24-Hexahydro-2,7,13,17-tetramethyl-1,19-dioxo-3,18-divinylbiline-8,12-dipropionic acidChEBI
2,17-Diethenyl-1,10,19,22,23,24-hexahydro-3,7,13,18-tetramethyl-1,19-dioxo-21H-biline-8,12-dipropanoic acidChEBI
2,7,13,17-Tetramethyl-1,19-dioxo-3,18-divinyl-1,10,19,22,23,24-hexahydro-21H-biline-8,12-dipropanoic acidChEBI
Bilirubin ixalphaHMDB
(4Z,15Z)-Bilirubin ixaHMDB
(Z,Z)-Bilirubin ixaHMDB
1,10,19,22,23,24-Hexahydro-2,7,13,17-tetramethyl-1,19-dioxo-3,18-divinyl-biline-8,12-dipropionic acidHMDB
3-(2-((3-(2-Carboxyethyl)-4-methyl-5-((3-methyl-5-oxo-4-vinyl-1,5-dihydro-2H-pyrrol-2-ylidene)methyl)-1H-pyrrol-2-yl)methyl)-4-methyl-5-((4-methyl-5-oxo-3-vinyl-1,5-dihydro-2H-pyrrol-2-ylidene)methyl)-1H-pyrrol-3-yl)propanoic acidHMDB
3-[2-[[3-(2-Carboxyethyl)-5-[(3-ethenyl-4-methyl-5-oxo-pyrrol-2-ylidene)methyl]-4-methyl-1H-pyrrol-2-yl]methyl]-5-[(4-ethenyl-3-methyl-5-oxo-pyrrol-2-ylidene)methyl]-4-methyl-1H-pyrrol-3-yl]propanoic acidHMDB
3-[2-[[3-(2-Carboxyethyl)-5-[(Z)-(3-ethenyl-4-methyl-5-oxo-pyrrol-2-ylidene)methyl]-4-methyl-1H-pyrrol-2-yl]methyl]-5-[(Z)-(4-ethenyl-3-methyl-5-oxo-pyrrol-2-ylidene)methyl]-4-methyl-1H-pyrrol-3-yl]propanoic acidHMDB
Bilirubin IX-alphaHMDB
Bilirubin IX alphaHMDB
Chemical FormulaC33H36N4O6
Average Mass584.6621 Da
Monoisotopic Mass584.26348 Da
IUPAC Name3-(2-{[3-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-{[(2Z)-4-ethenyl-3-methyl-5-oxo-2,5-dihydro-1H-pyrrol-2-ylidene]methyl}-4-methyl-1H-pyrrol-2-yl]methyl}-5-{[(2Z)-3-ethenyl-4-methyl-5-oxo-2,5-dihydro-1H-pyrrol-2-ylidene]methyl}-4-methyl-1H-pyrrol-3-yl)propanoic acid
Traditional Namebilirubin
CAS Registry Number635-65-4
InChI Identifier
Experimental Spectra
Spectrum TypeDescriptionDepositor EmailDepositor OrganizationDepositorDeposition DateView
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 600 MHz, 100%_DMSO, experimental)Wishart LabWishart LabDavid Wishart2021-06-20View Spectrum
2D NMR[1H, 13C]-HSQC NMR Spectrum (2D, 600 MHz, 100%_DMSO, experimental)Wishart LabWishart LabDavid Wishart2021-06-20View Spectrum
Predicted Spectra
Not Available
Chemical Shift Submissions
Not Available
Species of Origin
Species NameSourceReference
Anas platyrhynchosFooDB
Anser anserFooDB
Bison bisonFooDB
Bos taurusFooDB
Bos taurus X Bison bisonFooDB
Bubalus bubalisFooDB
Capra aegagrus hircusFooDB
Cervus canadensisFooDB
Dromaius novaehollandiaeFooDB
Equus caballusFooDB
Gallus gallusFooDB
Lagopus mutaFooDB
Lepus timidusFooDB
Melanitta fuscaFooDB
Meleagris gallopavoFooDB
Mus musculusLOTUS Database
Numida meleagrisFooDB
Ovis ariesFooDB
Phasianus colchicusFooDB
Struthio camelusFooDB
Sus scrofaFooDB
Sus scrofa domesticaFooDB
Species Where Detected
Species NameSourceReference
Bos taurus domesticus GMELINKNApSAcK Database
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as bilirubins. These are organic compounds containing a dicarboxylic acyclic tetrapyrrole derivative.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganoheterocyclic compounds
ClassTetrapyrroles and derivatives
Sub ClassBilirubins
Direct ParentBilirubins
Alternative Parents
  • Bilirubin skeleton
  • Dicarboxylic acid or derivatives
  • Substituted pyrrole
  • Pyrrole
  • Pyrroline
  • Heteroaromatic compound
  • Secondary carboxylic acid amide
  • Lactam
  • Carboxamide group
  • Azacycle
  • Carboxylic acid
  • Carboxylic acid derivative
  • Organopnictogen compound
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organic oxide
  • Aromatic heteromonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic heteromonocyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting PointNot AvailableNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility0.009 mg/mL at 25 °CNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.0096 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)4.03ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-2.8ChemAxon
Physiological Charge-2ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count6ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count6ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area164.38 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count12ChemAxon
Refractivity168.9 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability66.16 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings4ChemAxon
Rule of FiveNoChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleNoChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
DrugBank IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB021886
KNApSAcK IDC00029828
Chemspider ID4444055
KEGG Compound IDC00486
BiGG ID35117
Wikipedia LinkBilirubin
PubChem Compound5280352
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID16990
Good Scents IDrw1223461
General References
  1. Randeberg LL, Roll EB, Nilsen LT, Christensen T, Svaasand LO: In vivo spectroscopy of jaundiced newborn skin reveals more than a bilirubin index. Acta Paediatr. 2005 Jan;94(1):65-71. [PubMed:15858963 ]
  2. Bayes Garcia R, Maldonado Lozano J, Molina Font JA: [Interrelation of bilirubin and free fatty acids in newborn infants with pathologic conditions]. An Esp Pediatr. 1989 Jan;30(1):27-31. [PubMed:2648917 ]
  3. Yamamoto S, Kubo S, Hai S, Uenishi T, Yamamoto T, Shuto T, Takemura S, Tanaka H, Yamazaki O, Hirohashi K, Tanaka T: Hepatitis C virus infection as a likely etiology of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Cancer Sci. 2004 Jul;95(7):592-5. [PubMed:15245596 ]
  4. Kabicek P: Importance of serum bile acids determination in adolescents with juvenile hyperbilirubinaemia. Cent Eur J Public Health. 2004 Jun;12(2):102-9. [PubMed:15242029 ]
  5. Tiribelli C, Ostrow JD: New concepts in bilirubin and jaundice: report of the Third International Bilirubin Workshop, April 6-8, 1995, Trieste, Italy. Hepatology. 1996 Nov;24(5):1296-311. [PubMed:8903413 ]
  6. Zhan X, Wang SY, Wang L, Qu P: [Decreased peripheral nerve conduction velocity may be associated with lower-serum level of vitamin E in patients with infantile hepatitis syndrome]. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2004 May;42(5):362-6. [PubMed:15189696 ]
  7. Deja M, Hildebrandt B, Ahlers O, Riess H, Wust P, Gerlach H, Kerner T: Goal-directed therapy of cardiac preload in induced whole-body hyperthermia. Chest. 2005 Aug;128(2):580-6. [PubMed:16100141 ]
  8. Kikuchi S, Hata M, Fukumoto K, Yamane Y, Matsui T, Tamura A, Yonemura S, Yamagishi H, Keppler D, Tsukita S, Tsukita S: Radixin deficiency causes conjugated hyperbilirubinemia with loss of Mrp2 from bile canalicular membranes. Nat Genet. 2002 Jul;31(3):320-5. Epub 2002 Jun 17. [PubMed:12068294 ]
  9. Lin JM, Jiang CQ: [Clinical manifestation and ultrasonic characteristics of five patients with acute arsenic poisoning]. Zhonghua Lao Dong Wei Sheng Zhi Ye Bing Za Zhi. 2003 Dec;21(6):420-2. [PubMed:14761351 ]
  10. Azer SA: A multimedia CD-ROM tool to improve student understanding of bile salts and bilirubin metabolism: evaluation of its use in a medical hybrid PBL course. Adv Physiol Educ. 2005 Mar;29(1):40-50. [PubMed:15718382 ]
  11. Slusher TM, Angyo IA, Bode-Thomas F, Akor F, Pam SD, Adetunji AA, McLaren DW, Wong RJ, Vreman HJ, Stevenson DK: Transcutaneous bilirubin measurements and serum total bilirubin levels in indigenous African infants. Pediatrics. 2004 Jun;113(6):1636-41. [PubMed:15173484 ]
  12. Ciszowski K, Gomolka E, Jenner B: [The influence of the dose, time since ingestion and concentration of the xenobiotic on the clinical state and severity of liver damage with patients intoxicated with paracetamol]. Przegl Lek. 2005;62(6):456-61. [PubMed:16225094 ]
  13. Sando M, Sato Y, Iwata S, Akita H, Sunakawa K: In vitro protein binding of teicoplanin to neonatal serum. J Infect Chemother. 2004 Oct;10(5):280-3. [PubMed:16163462 ]
  14. Danko I, Jia Z, Zhang G: Nonviral gene transfer into liver and muscle for treatment of hyperbilirubinemia in the gunn rat. Hum Gene Ther. 2004 Dec;15(12):1279-86. [PubMed:15684703 ]
  15. Kotal P, Van der Veere CN, Sinaasappel M, Elferink RO, Vitek L, Brodanova M, Jansen PL, Fevery J: Intestinal excretion of unconjugated bilirubin in man and rats with inherited unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia. Pediatr Res. 1997 Aug;42(2):195-200. [PubMed:9262222 ]
  16. Ochenashko OV, Volkova NA, Mazur SP, Somov AY, Fuller BJ, Petrenko AY: Cryopreserved fetal liver cell transplants support the chronic failing liver in rats with CCl4-induced cirrhosis. Cell Transplant. 2006;15(1):23-33. [PubMed:16700327 ]
  17. Lapidus A, Akerlund JE, Einarsson C: Gallbladder bile composition in patients with Crohn 's disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jan 7;12(1):70-4. [PubMed:16440420 ]
  18. Sikkel E, Pasman SA, Oepkes D, Kanhai HH, Vandenbussche FP: On the origin of amniotic fluid bilirubin. Placenta. 2004 May;25(5):463-8. [PubMed:15081641 ]
  19. Schmidt CM, Powell ES, Yiannoutsos CT, Howard TJ, Wiebke EA, Wiesenauer CA, Baumgardner JA, Cummings OW, Jacobson LE, Broadie TA, Canal DF, Goulet RJ Jr, Curie EA, Cardenes H, Watkins JM, Loehrer PJ, Lillemoe KD, Madura JA: Pancreaticoduodenectomy: a 20-year experience in 516 patients. Arch Surg. 2004 Jul;139(7):718-25; discussion 725-7. [PubMed:15249403 ]
  20. Nanjundaswamy S, Petrova A, Mehta R, Hegyi T: Transcutaneous bilirubinometry in preterm infants receiving phototherapy. Am J Perinatol. 2005 Apr;22(3):127-31. [PubMed:15838745 ]
  21. Dwarka D, Thaver V, Naidu M, Baijnath H: NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE PRESENCE OF BILIRUBIN IN A PLANT SPECIES STRELITZIA NICOLAI (STRELITZIACEAE). Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2017 Jan 13;14(2):253-262. doi: 10.21010/ajtcam.v14i2.27. eCollection 2017. [PubMed:28573242 ]
  22. Vasavda C, Kothari R, Malla AP, Tokhunts R, Lin A, Ji M, Ricco C, Xu R, Saavedra HG, Sbodio JI, Snowman AM, Albacarys L, Hester L, Sedlak TW, Paul BD, Snyder SH: Bilirubin Links Heme Metabolism to Neuroprotection by Scavenging Superoxide. Cell Chem Biol. 2019 Oct 17;26(10):1450-1460.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2019.07.006. Epub 2019 Jul 25. [PubMed:31353321 ]