Alpha-amino-n-butyric acid, also known as alpha-aminobutyric acid (AABA), is a non-protein amino acid with the chemical formula C4H9NO2. It is an analog of the proteinogenic amino acid, valine. Measurement of alpha-aminobutyric acid is included in the Amino Acids, Plasma and Amino Acids, Urine tests along with 23 other amino acids.
In humans, alpha-aminobutyric acid has been found to be present in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid, where it is believed to play a role in neurotransmission. alpha-aminobutyric acid has been studied for its potential use as a treatment for epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
Alpha-aminobutyric acid is produced by plants as a response to environmental stressors such as drought, salinity, and extreme temperatures. It has been suggested that alpha-aminobutyric acid may function as an osmoprotectant, helping plants tolerate these stressors.
Alpha-aminobutyric acid has also been found in certain foods, such as cheese and soy sauce. However, its nutritional significance in human diets is not well understood.
Research suggests that alpha-amino-n-butyric acid may serve as a potential biomarker in plasma and urine for various diseases and health conditions.
In one study, alpha-aminobutyric acid was found to be significantly elevated in the plasma of patients with pancreatic cancer, suggesting that it may have diagnostic potential for this disease. Alpha-aminobutyric acid levels have also been shown to be elevated in the urine of patients with liver cirrhosis, indicating that it may be useful as a biomarker for this condition as well.
In addition, alpha-aminobutyric acid has been proposed as a potential biomarker for kidney function. Studies have found that alpha-aminobutyric acid levels are significantly associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and may therefore be useful in monitoring kidney function in patients with chronic kidney disease.