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Record Information
StatusExpected but not Quantified
Creation Date2012-09-11 23:54:07 UTC
Update Date2021-10-13 07:14:21 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB38578
Metabolite Identification
Common NameChlorophyll a
DescriptionChlorophyll a is found in common wheat. Chlorophyll a is used in food processing as an appearance control agent for colours.Chlorophyll is a chlorin pigment, which is structurally similar to and produced through the same metabolic pathway as other porphyrin pigments such as heme. At the center of the chlorin ring is a magnesium ion. For the structures depicted in this article, some of the ligands attached to the Mg2+ center are omitted for clarity. The chlorin ring can have several different side chains, usually including a long phytol chain. There are a few different forms that occur naturally, but the most widely distributed form in terrestrial plants is chlorophyll a. The general structure of chlorophyll a was elucidated by Hans Fischer in 1940, and by 1960, when most of the stereochemistry of chlorophyll a was known, Robert Burns Woodward published a total synthesis of the molecule as then known. In 1967, the last remaining stereochemical elucidation was completed by Ian Fleming, and in 1990 Woodward and co-authors published an updated synthesis. Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in most plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Its name is derived from the Greek (chloros "green") and (phyllon "leaf"). Chlorophyll absorbs light most strongly in the blue and red but poorly in the green portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, hence the green colour of chlorophyll-containing tissues such as plant leaves. Chlorophyll itself is bound to proteins and can transfer the absorbed energy in the required direction. Protochlorophyllide, differently, mostly occur in the free form and under light conditions act as photosensitizer, forming highly toxic free radicals. Hence plants need an efficient mechanism of regulating the amount of chlorophyll precursor. In angiosperms, this is done at the step of aminolevulinic acid (ALA), one of the intermediate compounds in the biosynthesis pathway. Plants that are fed by ALA accumulate high and toxic levels of protochlorophyllide, so do the mutants with the damaged regulatory system. Chlorosis is a condition in which leaves produce insufficient chlorophyll, turning them yellow. Chlorosis can be caused by a nutrient deficiency including iron - called iron chlorosis, or in a shortage of magnesium or nitrogen. Soil pH sometimes play a role in nutrient-caused chlorosis, many plants are adapted to grow in soils with specific pHs and their ability to absorb nutrients from the soil can be dependent on the soil pH. Chlorosis can also be caused by pathogens including viruses, bacteria and fungal infections or sap sucking insects
(SP-4-2)-((2E,7R,11R)-3,7,11,15-Tetramethyl-2-hexadecenyl (3S,4S,21R)-9-ethenyl-14-ethyl-21-(methoxycarbonyl)-4,8,13,18-tetramethyl-20-oxo-3-phorbinepropanoato(2-)-kappan(23),kappan(24),kappan(25),kappan(26))-magnesiumChEBI
Chlorophyll a2HMDB
Chemical FormulaC55H72MgN4O5
Average Molecular Weight893.509
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight892.53531313
IUPAC Name(5R,22S,23S)-17-ethenyl-12-ethyl-5-(methoxycarbonyl)-8,13,18,22-tetramethyl-6-oxo-23-(3-oxo-3-{[(2E,7R,11R)-3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadec-2-en-1-yl]oxy}propyl)-2,25lambda5,26lambda5,27-tetraaza-1-magnesanonacyclo[^{1,16}.0^{2,9}.0^{3,7}.0^{4,24}.0^{11,26}.0^{21,25}.0^{19,27}]heptacosa-3,7,9,11(26),12,14,16,18,20,24-decaene-25,26-bis(ylium)-1,1-diuide
Traditional Name(5R,22S,23S)-17-ethenyl-12-ethyl-5-(methoxycarbonyl)-8,13,18,22-tetramethyl-6-oxo-23-(3-oxo-3-{[(2E,7R,11R)-3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadec-2-en-1-yl]oxy}propyl)-2,25lambda5,26lambda5,27-tetraaza-1-magnesanonacyclo[^{1,16}.0^{2,9}.0^{3,7}.0^{4,24}.0^{11,26}.0^{21,25}.0^{19,27}]heptacosa-3,7,9,11(26),12,14,16,18,20,24-decaene-25,26-bis(ylium)-1,1-diuide
CAS Registry Number479-61-8
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as chlorins. These are large heterocyclic aromatic ring systems consisting, at the core, of three pyrroles and one pyrroline coupled through four methine linkages.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganoheterocyclic compounds
ClassTetrapyrroles and derivatives
Sub ClassChlorins
Direct ParentChlorins
Alternative Parents
  • Chlorin
  • Metallotetrapyrrole skeleton
  • Phorbine skeleton
  • Diterpenoid
  • Aryl ketone
  • Aryl alkyl ketone
  • Fatty acid ester
  • Dicarboxylic acid or derivatives
  • Substituted pyrrole
  • 1,3-dicarbonyl compound
  • Fatty acyl
  • Heteroaromatic compound
  • Methyl ester
  • Pyrrole
  • Carboxylic acid ester
  • Ketone
  • Azacycle
  • Carboxylic acid derivative
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organic salt
  • Organic oxide
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Organic zwitterion
  • Carbonyl group
  • Aromatic heteropolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic heteropolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors


Route of exposure

Physical Properties
Experimental Molecular Properties
Melting Point117 - 120 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water Solubility5.2e-16 mg/L @ 25 °C (est)The Good Scents Company Information System
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Experimental Chromatographic PropertiesNot Available
Predicted Molecular Properties
Water Solubility0.00018 g/LALOGPS
logP10(2.77) g/LALOGPS
logP10(5.65) g/LChemAxon
logS10(-7.6) g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)5.32ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-6.8ChemAxon
Physiological Charge-1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count3ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area87.29 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count22ChemAxon
Refractivity266.17 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability109.3 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings9ChemAxon
Rule of FiveNoChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleNoChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Predicted Chromatographic Properties

Predicted Kovats Retention Indices


MetaboliteSMILESKovats RI ValueColumn TypeReference
Chlorophyll aCCC1=C(C)C2=CC3=C(C=C)C(C)=C4C=C5[C@@H](C)[C@H](CCC(=O)OC\C=C(/C)CCC[C@H](C)CCC[C@H](C)CCCC(C)C)C6=[N+]5[Mg--]5(N34)N3C(=CC1=[N+]25)C(C)=C1C(=O)[C@H](C(=O)OC)C6=C317542.8Standard polar33892256
Chlorophyll aCCC1=C(C)C2=CC3=C(C=C)C(C)=C4C=C5[C@@H](C)[C@H](CCC(=O)OC\C=C(/C)CCC[C@H](C)CCC[C@H](C)CCCC(C)C)C6=[N+]5[Mg--]5(N34)N3C(=CC1=[N+]25)C(C)=C1C(=O)[C@H](C(=O)OC)C6=C315771.4Standard non polar33892256
Chlorophyll aCCC1=C(C)C2=CC3=C(C=C)C(C)=C4C=C5[C@@H](C)[C@H](CCC(=O)OC\C=C(/C)CCC[C@H](C)CCC[C@H](C)CCCC(C)C)C6=[N+]5[Mg--]5(N34)N3C(=CC1=[N+]25)C(C)=C1C(=O)[C@H](C(=O)OC)C6=C315982.8Semi standard non polar33892256

GC-MS Spectra

Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyDeposition DateSourceView
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - Chlorophyll a GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-0006-0000000090-207e04857b81f4337e502017-08-28Wishart LabView Spectrum
Biological Properties
Cellular Locations
  • Membrane
Biospecimen LocationsNot Available
Tissue LocationsNot Available
Normal Concentrations
Not Available
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
Associated Disorders and Diseases
Disease ReferencesNone
Associated OMIM IDsNone
DrugBank IDDB02133
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FooDB IDFDB017968
KNApSAcK IDC00001528
Chemspider ID16736115
KEGG Compound IDC05306
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkChlorophyll a
METLIN IDNot Available
PubChem Compound12085802
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID18230
Food Biomarker OntologyNot Available
MarkerDB IDNot Available
Good Scents IDrw1228991
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)Not Available
General References
  1. Powers L, Pershan PS: Monodomain samples of dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine with varying concentrations of water and other ingredients. Biophys J. 1977 Nov;20(2):137-52. [PubMed:911978 ]
  2. (). Yannai, Shmuel. (2004) Dictionary of food compounds with CD-ROM: Additives, flavors, and ingredients. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall/CRC.. .