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beta-Nitropropionic acid (3-nitropropanoic acid, BPA, 3-NPA) is a mycotoxin, a potent mitochondrial inhibitor,[1] toxic to humans. It is produced by a number of fungi, and found widely in food, in sugar cane, as well as Japanese fungally fermented staples miso, soy sauce, katsuobushi,[2] and some traditional Chinese medicines.[3]

β-Nitropropionic acid
3-Nitropropanoic acid.png
IUPAC name
3-Nitropropanoic acid
Other names
3-Nitropropionic acid; β-Nitropropanoic acid; BPA; 3-NPA
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.007.276
Molar mass 119.076 g·mol−1
Melting point 65–67 °C (149–153 °F; 338–340 K)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

It can be caused by extreme weather, stressed crop growth conditions, as well as storage conditions (like moisture),[4] which can give a further rise under global warming conditions.[5]

It is found that 3-nitropropionic acid is a mitochondrial toxin and produces striatal alterations in rats similar to those observed in the brain of Huntington’s disease patients, and administration of the cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55212-2 to rats for six consecutive days, before the 3-NPA injection, exerted preventive effects on all alterations elicited by the toxin, like mitochondrial dysfunction and lipid peroxidation, by activation of the CB1 receptor.[6]


  1. ^ Roberts, Toby John (2004). "3-Nitropropionic Acid Model of Metabolic Stress: Assessment by Magnetic Resonance Imaging". Stroke Genomics. 104: 203. doi:10.1385/1-59259-836-6:203. ISBN 1-59259-836-6.
  2. ^ Advances in Food Mycology
  3. ^ Wang, X.P.; Yang, R.M. (2003). "Movement Disorders Possibly Induced by Traditional Chinese Herbs". European Neurology. 50 (3): 153. doi:10.1159/000073056. PMID 14530621.
  4. ^ Jensen, Ole (Jun 13, 2016). "Management of mycotoxin risk in pig production" (PDF). Powerpoint by Ole Jensen.
  5. ^ Norbäck, Dan; Hashim, Jamal Hisham; Cai, Gui-Hong; Hashim, Zailina; Ali, Faridah; Bloom, Erica; Larsson, Lennart (2016-02-01). "Rhinitis, Ocular, Throat and Dermal Symptoms, Headache and Tiredness among Students in Schools from Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Associations with Fungal DNA and Mycotoxins in Classroom Dust". PLoS ONE. 11 (2). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0147996. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4734676. PMID 26829324.
  6. ^ Maya-López, Marisol; Colín-González, Ana Laura; Aguilera, Gabriela; de Lima, María Eduarda; Colpo-Ceolin, Ana; Rangel-López, Edgar; Villeda-Hernández, Juana; Rembao-Bojórquez, Daniel; Túnez, Isaac (2017-02-15). "Neuroprotective effect of WIN55,212-2 against 3-nitropropionic acid-induced toxicity in the rat brain: involvement of CB1 and NMDA receptors". American Journal of Translational Research. 9 (2): 261–274. ISSN 1943-8141. PMC 5340665. PMID 28337258.