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Record Information
StatusDetected and Quantified
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2020-06-15 17:04:51 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB00048
Metabolite Identification
Common NameMelibiose
DescriptionMelibiose (CAS: 585-99-9) is a disaccharide consisting of one galactose and one glucose moiety in an alpha (1-6) glycosidic linkage. This sugar is produced and metabolized only by enteric and lactic acid bacteria and other microbes, such as Dickeya dadantii, Escherichia, Leuconostoc, and Saccharomyces (PMID: 19734309 , 28453942 ). It is not an endogenous metabolite but may be obtained from the consumption of partially fermented molasses, brown sugar, or honey. Antibodies to melibiose will appear in individuals affected by Chagas' disease (Trypanosoma cruzi infection). Melibiose is not metabolized by humans but can be broken down by gut microflora, such as E. coli. In fact, E. coli is able to utilize melibiose as a sole source of carbon. Melibiose is first imported by the melibiose permease, MelB and then converted into β-D-glucose and β-D-galactose by the α-galactosidase encoded by melA. Because of its poor digestibility, melibiose (along with rhamnose) can be used together for noninvasive intestinal mucosa barrier testing. This test can be used to assess malabsorption or impairment of intestinal permeability. Recent studies with dietary melibiose have shown that it can strongly affect the Th cell responses to an ingested antigen. It has been suggested that melibiose could be used to enhance the induction of oral tolerance (PMID: 17986780 ).
Chemical FormulaC12H22O11
Average Molecular Weight342.2965
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight342.116211546
IUPAC Name(2S,3R,4S,5S,6R)-6-({[(2S,3R,4S,5R,6R)-3,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxan-2-yl]oxy}methyl)oxane-2,3,4,5-tetrol
Traditional Name(2S,3R,4S,5S,6R)-6-({[(2S,3R,4S,5R,6R)-3,4,5-trihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl)oxan-2-yl]oxy}methyl)oxane-2,3,4,5-tetrol
CAS Registry Number13299-20-2
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as o-glycosyl compounds. These are glycoside in which a sugar group is bonded through one carbon to another group via a O-glycosidic bond.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic oxygen compounds
ClassOrganooxygen compounds
Sub ClassCarbohydrates and carbohydrate conjugates
Direct ParentO-glycosyl compounds
Alternative Parents
  • O-glycosyl compound
  • Disaccharide
  • Oxane
  • Secondary alcohol
  • Hemiacetal
  • Oxacycle
  • Organoheterocyclic compound
  • Polyol
  • Acetal
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary alcohol
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic heteromonocyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic heteromonocyclic compounds
External DescriptorsNot Available

Route of exposure:


Biological location:


Naturally occurring process:

Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point84 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility1000 mg/mLNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility511 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)11.25ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-3ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count11ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count8ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area189.53 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count4ChemAxon
Refractivity68.34 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability31.19 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings2ChemAxon
Rule of FiveNoChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleNoChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyView
2D NMR[1H,13C] 2D NMR SpectrumNot AvailableSpectrum
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Extracellular
Biospecimen Locations
  • Urine
Tissue Locations
  • Spleen
Normal Concentrations
UrineDetected and Quantified< 0.1 umol/mmol creatinineChildren (1-13 years old)Both
Abnormal Concentrations
UrineDetected but not Quantified Adult (>18 years old)BothBladder cancer details
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease ReferencesNone
Associated OMIM IDsNone
DrugBank IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FooDB IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDNot Available
Chemspider IDNot Available
KEGG Compound IDNot Available
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkNot Available
METLIN IDNot Available
PubChem Compound6602503
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI IDNot Available
Food Biomarker OntologyNot Available
VMH IDNot Available
Synthesis ReferencePictet, Ame; Vogel, Hans. The synthesis of melibiose. Helvetica Chimica Acta (1927), 10 280.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Download (PDF)
General References
  1. Almeida IC, Milani SR, Gorin PA, Travassos LR: Complement-mediated lysis of Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes by human anti-alpha-galactosyl antibodies. J Immunol. 1991 Apr 1;146(7):2394-400. [PubMed:1706399 ]
  2. Sharma A, Ahmed H, Allen HJ: Isolation of a melibiose-binding protein from human spleen. Glycoconj J. 1995 Feb;12(1):17-21. [PubMed:7795409 ]
  3. Steuer MK, Steuer M, Bonkowsky V, Gabius HJ, Hofstadter F: Characterization of sugar receptor expression by neoglycoproteins in oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 1995;252(5):292-7. [PubMed:7576587 ]
  4. Vaughan HA, Loveland BE, Sandrin MS: Gal alpha(1,3)Gal is the major xenoepitope expressed on pig endothelial cells recognized by naturally occurring cytotoxic human antibodies. Transplantation. 1994 Oct 27;58(8):879-82. [PubMed:7524207 ]
  5. Barboza Junior MS, Silva TM, Guerrant RL, Lima AA: Measurement of intestinal permeability using mannitol and lactulose in children with diarrheal diseases. Braz J Med Biol Res. 1999 Dec;32(12):1499-504. [PubMed:10585631 ]
  6. Furukawa K, Ying R, Nakajima T, Matsuki T: Hemagglutinins in fungus extracts and their blood group specificity. Exp Clin Immunogenet. 1995;12(4):223-31. [PubMed:8919354 ]
  7. Gibbons RJ, Qureshi JV: Inhibition of adsorption of Streptococcus mutans strains to saliva-treated hydroxyapatite by galactose and certain amines. Infect Immun. 1979 Dec;26(3):1214-7. [PubMed:528053 ]
  8. Nicolopoulou A, Zoumbou K, Papageorgacopoulou N, Papapetropoulou M: Metabolic and compositional changes in Escherichia coli cells starved in seawater. Microbiol Res. 1994 Nov;149(4):343-50. [PubMed:7842233 ]
  9. Wu AM, Song SC, Chen YY, Gilboa-Garber N: Defining the carbohydrate specificities of aplysia gonad lectin exhibiting a peculiar D-galacturonic acid affinity. J Biol Chem. 2000 May 12;275(19):14017-24. [PubMed:10799474 ]
  10. Rietra PJ, Van den Bergh FA, Tager JM: Properties of the residual alpha-galactosidase activity in the tissues of a Fabry hemizygote. Clin Chim Acta. 1975 Aug 4;62(3):401-13. [PubMed:809216 ]
  11. Colby SM, Harrington DJ, Russell RR: Identification and genetic characterisation of melibiose-negative isolates of Streptococcus mutans. Caries Res. 1995;29(5):407-12. [PubMed:8521444 ]
  12. Tomita K, Nagura T, Okuhara Y, Nakajima-Adachi H, Shigematsu N, Aritsuka T, Kaminogawa S, Hachimura S: Dietary melibiose regulates th cell response and enhances the induction of oral tolerance. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2007 Nov;71(11):2774-80. Epub 2007 Nov 7. [PubMed:17986780 ]
  13. Hugouvieux-Cotte-Pattat N, Charaoui-Boukerzaza S: Catabolism of raffinose, sucrose, and melibiose in Erwinia chrysanthemi 3937. J Bacteriol. 2009 Nov;191(22):6960-7. doi: 10.1128/JB.00594-09. Epub 2009 Sep 4. [PubMed:19734309 ]
  14. Xu W, Yu S, Liu Q, Zhang T, Jiang B, Mu W: Enzymatic Production of Melibiose from Raffinose by the Levansucrase from Leuconostoc mesenteroides B-512 FMC. J Agric Food Chem. 2017 May 17;65(19):3910-3918. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b01265. Epub 2017 May 5. [PubMed:28453942 ]


General function:
Involved in catalytic activity
Specific function:
Not Available
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Not Available
Melibiose + Water → Beta-D-Galactose + D-Glucosedetails
D-Gal alpha 1->6D-Gal alpha 1->6D-Glucose + Water → Beta-D-Galactose + Melibiosedetails
General function:
Involved in catalytic activity
Specific function:
May serve as an alternate pathway for starch digestion when luminal alpha-amylase activity is reduced because of immaturity or malnutrition. May play a unique role in the digestion of malted dietary oligosaccharides used in food manufacturing.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Not Available
General function:
Involved in catalytic activity
Specific function:
Has alpha-glucosidase activity.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular weight:
Not Available