Beta-Alanine Metabolism

Beta-alanine is formed by the proteolytic degradation of beta-alanine containing dipeptides: carnosine, anserine, balenine, and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). These dipeptides are found in protein rich foods such as chicken, beef, pork and fish. Beta-alanine can also be formed in the liver from the catabolism of pyrimidine nucleotides which are broken down into uracil and dihydrouracil and then metabolized into beta-alanine and beta-aminoisobutyrate. Beta-alanine can also be formed via the action of aldehyde dehydrogenase on beta-aminoproionaldehyde which is generated from various aliphatic polyamines. Under normal conditions, beta-alanine is metabolized to aspartic acid through the action of glutamate decarboxylase. It can also be converted to malonate semialdehyde and thereby participate in propanoate metabolism. Beta-alanine is not a proteogenic amino acid.

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  1. Lehninger, A.L. (2005) Lehninger principles of biochemistry (4 th ed.). New York: W.H Freeman.
  2. Salway, J.G. (2004) Metabolism at a glance (3 rd ed.). Alden, Mass. : Blackwell Pub.