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Record Information
Creation Date2014-09-11 05:17:37 UTC
Update Date2014-12-24 20:26:57 UTC
Accession NumberT3D4811
Common NameFarnesol
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionFarnesol is a signaling molecule that is derived from farnesyl diphosphate, an intermediate in the isoprenoid/cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. Farnesol is a 15 carbon isoprenoid alcohol is the corresponding dephosphorylated form of the isoprenoid farnesyl diphosphate. Farnesol has a potential role in controlling the degradation of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMGCoA) reductase (EC, NADPH-hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase). The enzyme is stabilized under conditions of cellular sterol depletion (e.g. statin-treated cells) and rapidly degraded in sterol-loaded cells. In mammalian cells, this enhanced degradation is dependent on the presence of both a sterol and a non-sterol derived from the isoprenoid pathway; farnesol, the dephosphorylated form of farnesyl diphosphate, can function as the non-sterol component. Farnesol has been shown to activate the farnesoid receptor (FXR), a nuclear receptor that forms a functional heterodimer with RXR. Thus, dephosphorylation of farnesyl diphosphate, an intermediate in the cholesterol synthetic pathway, might produce an active ligand for the FXR:RXR heterodimer. The physiological ligand for FXR remains to be identified; farnesol, may simply mimic the unidentified natural ligand(s). In addition, exogenous farnesol have an effect on several other physiological processes, including inhibition of phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis, induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell cycle progression and actin cytoskeletal disorganization. Farnesol cellular availability is an important determinant of vascular tone in animals and humans, and provides a basis for exploring farnesyl metabolism in humans with compromised vascular function as well as for using farnesyl analogues as regulators of arterial tone in vivo. A possible metabolic fate for farnesol is its conversion to farnesoic acid, and then to farnesol-derived dicarboxylic acids (FDDCAs) which would then be excreted in the urine. Farnesol can also be oxidized to a prenyl aldehyde, presumably by an alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), and that this activity resides in the mitochondrial and peroxisomal. Liver Endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomal fractions are able to phosphorylate farnesol to Farnesyl diphosphate in a Cytosine triphosphate dependent fashion. (1, 2, 3, 4). Prenol is polymerized by dehydration reactions; when there are at least four isoprene units (n in the above formula is greater than or equal to four), the polymer is called a polyprenol. Polyprenols can contain up to 100 isoprene units (n=100) linked end to end with the hydroxyl group (-OH) remaining at the end. These isoprenoid alcohols are also called terpenols These isoprenoid alcohols are important in the acylation of proteins, carotenoids, and fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K. They are also building blocks for plant oils such as farnesol and geraniol. Prenol is also a building block of cholesterol (built from six isoprene units), and thus of all steroids. Prenol has sedative properities, it is probably GABA receptor allosteric modulator.When the isoprene unit attached to the alcohol is saturated, the compound is referred to as a dolichol. Dolichols are important as glycosyl carriers in the synthesis of polysaccharides.
Compound Type
  • Animal Toxin
  • Cigarette Toxin
  • Food Toxin
  • Household Toxin
  • Mammal Toxin
  • Metabolite
  • Natural Compound
  • Organic Compound
Chemical Structure
Farnesyl alcohol
FCI 119a
Chemical FormulaC15H26O
Average Molecular Mass222.366 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass222.198 g/mol
CAS Registry Number4602-84-0
IUPAC Name(2E,6E)-3,7,11-trimethyldodeca-2,6,10-trien-1-ol
Traditional Name(E)-farnesol
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C15H26O/c1-13(2)7-5-8-14(3)9-6-10-15(4)11-12-16/h7,9,11,16H,5-6,8,10,12H2,1-4H3/b14-9+,15-11+
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as sesquiterpenoids. These are terpenes with three consecutive isoprene units.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassLipids and lipid-like molecules
ClassPrenol lipids
Sub ClassSesquiterpenoids
Direct ParentSesquiterpenoids
Alternative Parents
  • Farsesane sesquiterpenoid
  • Sesquiterpenoid
  • Fatty alcohol
  • Fatty acyl
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary alcohol
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Alcohol
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular Locations
  • Extracellular
  • Membrane
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue Locations
  • Epidermis
  • Fibroblasts
  • Intestine
  • Kidney
PathwaysNot Available
ApplicationsNot Available
Biological RolesNot Available
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceWhite powder.
Experimental Properties
Melting Point< 25°C
Boiling Point111°C at 3.50E-01 mm Hg
SolubilityNot Available
LogPNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.059 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Acidic)16.33ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)-2.2ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count1ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area20.23 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count7ChemAxon
Refractivity74.98 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability28.7 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings0ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyView
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (1 TMS)splash10-000x-9800000000-0366097ae9a2af6bafceJSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (1 TMS)splash10-001l-9800000000-eec57a93bb5862e554f1JSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (1 TMS)splash10-000x-8900000000-9c20df8f2d1959c137d7JSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized)splash10-000x-9800000000-0366097ae9a2af6bafceJSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized)splash10-001l-9800000000-eec57a93bb5862e554f1JSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized)splash10-000x-8900000000-9c20df8f2d1959c137d7JSpectraViewer | MoNA
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-0a4u-9830000000-5e08d59a4cc2e87c9984JSpectraViewer
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (1 TMS) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-05xr-9860000000-2eeca721058a47519afdJSpectraViewer
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, PositiveNot AvailableJSpectraViewer
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, PositiveNot AvailableJSpectraViewer
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - Linear Ion Trap , positivesplash10-003u-0790000000-578343425424f42c9d58JSpectraViewer | MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-0ab9-1590000000-88a1356fe7cab3171954JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-0avi-7930000000-81c18181dbd66735216aJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0gi0-9400000000-e44ecbea8a96f84abd43JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-00di-0390000000-9beef594142e0da5de92JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-006x-1980000000-3b9708ac6185abaf6d96JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-05bf-4910000000-a8db2089f5647c8532adJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-00di-0090000000-ab61d8a2af41e6ed2e49JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-00di-0690000000-8a43271c10743cad1e3eJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-00l2-4900000000-7dcaa3b1e66cfbe960c9JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-05gi-5930000000-9f54facb49232e1c6a46JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-05o0-9600000000-55d109ed92e3da30c7eaJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-00l6-9100000000-bcc664ee21d185da076eJSpectraViewer
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-014l-9200000000-8e5fae6943a545e4bc0bJSpectraViewer | MoNA
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureNot Available
Mechanism of ToxicityNot Available
MetabolismNot Available
Toxicity ValuesNot Available
Lethal DoseNot Available
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)No indication of carcinogenicity to humans (not listed by IARC).
Uses/SourcesThis is an endogenously produced metabolite found in the human body. It is used in metabolic reactions, catabolic reactions or waste generation.
Minimum Risk LevelNot Available
Health EffectsNot Available
SymptomsNot Available
TreatmentNot Available
Normal Concentrations
Not Available
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
DrugBank IDDB02509
PubChem Compound ID1549107
ChEMBL IDNot Available
ChemSpider ID1266073
UniProt IDNot Available
ChEBI ID28600
CTD IDD005204
Stitch IDNot Available
PDB IDNot Available
ACToR IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkFarnesol
Synthesis Reference

James Millis, “Production of farnesol and geranylgeraniol.” U.S. Patent US20030092144, issued May 15, 2003.

General References
  1. Edwards PA, Ericsson J: Signaling molecules derived from the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway: mechanisms of action and possible roles in human disease. Curr Opin Lipidol. 1998 Oct;9(5):433-40. [9812197 ]
  2. Roullet JB, Xue H, Chapman J, McDougal P, Roullet CM, McCarron DA: Farnesyl analogues inhibit vasoconstriction in animal and human arteries. J Clin Invest. 1996 May 15;97(10):2384-90. [8636420 ]
  3. Bostedor RG, Karkas JD, Arison BH, Bansal VS, Vaidya S, Germershausen JI, Kurtz MM, Bergstrom JD: Farnesol-derived dicarboxylic acids in the urine of animals treated with zaragozic acid A or with farnesol. J Biol Chem. 1997 Apr 4;272(14):9197-203. [9083051 ]
  4. Westfall D, Aboushadi N, Shackelford JE, Krisans SK: Metabolism of farnesol: phosphorylation of farnesol by rat liver microsomal and peroxisomal fractions. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Jan 23;230(3):562-8. [9015362 ]
  5. Horn TL, Long L, Cwik MJ, Morrissey RL, Kapetanovic IM, McCormick DL: Modulation of hepatic and renal drug metabolizing enzyme activities in rats by subchronic administration of farnesol. Chem Biol Interact. 2005 Apr 15;152(2-3):79-99. [15840382 ]
  6. Hanley K, Wood L, Ng DC, He SS, Lau P, Moser A, Elias PM, Bikle DD, Williams ML, Feingold KR: Cholesterol sulfate stimulates involucrin transcription in keratinocytes by increasing Fra-1, Fra-2, and Jun D. J Lipid Res. 2001 Mar;42(3):390-8. [11254751 ]
  7. DeBarber AE, Bleyle LA, Roullet JB, Koop DR: Omega-hydroxylation of farnesol by mammalian cytochromes p450. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Jun 1;1682(1-3):18-27. [15158752 ]
  8. Saidi S, Luitaud C, Rouabhia M: In vitro synergistic effect of farnesol and human gingival cells against Candida albicans. Yeast. 2006 Jul 15;23(9):673-87. [16845684 ]
  9. Hanley K, Komuves LG, Ng DC, Schoonjans K, He SS, Lau P, Bikle DD, Williams ML, Elias PM, Auwerx J, Feingold KR: Farnesol stimulates differentiation in epidermal keratinocytes via PPARalpha. J Biol Chem. 2000 Apr 14;275(15):11484-91. [10753967 ]
  10. Forman BM, Goode E, Chen J, Oro AE, Bradley DJ, Perlmann T, Noonan DJ, Burka LT, McMorris T, Lamph WW, Evans RM, Weinberger C: Identification of a nuclear receptor that is activated by farnesol metabolites. Cell. 1995 Jun 2;81(5):687-93. [7774010 ]
  11. Staines AG, Sindelar P, Coughtrie MW, Burchell B: Farnesol is glucuronidated in human liver, kidney and intestine in vitro, and is a novel substrate for UGT2B7 and UGT1A1. Biochem J. 2004 Dec 15;384(Pt 3):637-45. [15320866 ]
  12. Fayard E, Schoonjans K, Auwerx J: Xol INXS: role of the liver X and the farnesol X receptors. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2001 Apr;12(2):113-20. [11264982 ]
Gene Regulation
Up-Regulated GenesNot Available
Down-Regulated GenesNot Available


General Function:
Primary amine oxidase activity
Specific Function:
Catalyzes the oxidative deamination of biogenic and xenobiotic amines and has important functions in the metabolism of neuroactive and vasoactive amines in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues. MAOB preferentially degrades benzylamine and phenylethylamine.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
58762.475 Da
  1. Berman HM, Westbrook J, Feng Z, Gilliland G, Bhat TN, Weissig H, Shindyalov IN, Bourne PE: The Protein Data Bank. Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Jan 1;28(1):235-42. [10592235 ]
General Function:
Zinc ion binding
Specific Function:
Nuclear receptor that binds and is activated by variety of endogenous and xenobiotic compounds. Transcription factor that activates the transcription of multiple genes involved in the metabolism and secretion of potentially harmful xenobiotics, drugs and endogenous compounds. Activated by the antibiotic rifampicin and various plant metabolites, such as hyperforin, guggulipid, colupulone, and isoflavones. Response to specific ligands is species-specific. Activated by naturally occurring steroids, such as pregnenolone and progesterone. Binds to a response element in the promoters of the CYP3A4 and ABCB1/MDR1 genes.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
49761.245 Da
Binding/Activity Constants
TypeValueAssay TypeAssay Source
AC506.37 uMATG_PXRE_CISAttagene
  1. Sipes NS, Martin MT, Kothiya P, Reif DM, Judson RS, Richard AM, Houck KA, Dix DJ, Kavlock RJ, Knudsen TB: Profiling 976 ToxCast chemicals across 331 enzymatic and receptor signaling assays. Chem Res Toxicol. 2013 Jun 17;26(6):878-95. doi: 10.1021/tx400021f. Epub 2013 May 16. [23611293 ]
General Function:
Zinc ion binding
Specific Function:
Ligand-activated transcription factor. Receptor for bile acids such as chenodeoxycholic acid, lithocholic acid and deoxycholic acid. Represses the transcription of the cholesterol 7-alpha-hydroxylase gene (CYP7A1) through the induction of NR0B2 or FGF19 expression, via two distinct mechanisms. Activates the intestinal bile acid-binding protein (IBABP). Activates the transcription of bile salt export pump ABCB11 by directly recruiting histone methyltransferase CARM1 to this locus.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
55913.915 Da
  1. Downie MM, Sanders DA, Maier LM, Stock DM, Kealey T: Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and farnesoid X receptor ligands differentially regulate sebaceous differentiation in human sebaceous gland organ cultures in vitro. Br J Dermatol. 2004 Oct;151(4):766-75. [15491415 ]