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Overview Biosynthesis Physiological function Applications Toxicity The effect of putrescine on food quality Reference
1,4-DIAMINOBUTANE structure
Chemical Name:
DAB;14DAB;PUTRESCIN;PUTRESCINE;H2N(CH2)4NH2;1,4-D diaMine;DiaMinobutane;butanediamine;1.4-DiaMinobut;BUTYLENEDIAMINE
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

1,4-DIAMINOBUTANE Properties

Melting point:
27 °C
Boiling point:
158-160 °C(lit.)
0.877 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
vapor pressure 
436 Pa (25 °C)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.457(lit.)
Flash point:
125 °F
storage temp. 
cell culture medium: 0.16 mg/mL
lyophilized powder
10.8(at 20℃)
Clear colorless to slightly yellow
Specific Gravity
explosive limit
Water Solubility 
almost transparency
Air Sensitive & Hygroscopic
Stable. Incompatible with acids, acid chlorides, acid anhydrides, strong oxidizing agents. Flammable.
CAS DataBase Reference
110-60-1(CAS DataBase Reference)
  • Risk and Safety Statements
  • Hazard and Precautionary Statements (GHS)
Hazard Codes  F,T
Risk Statements  11-21/22-23-34-10
Safety Statements  16-26-36/37/39-45
RIDADR  UN 2928 6.1/PG 2
WGK Germany  3
RTECS  EJ6800000
HazardClass  8
PackingGroup  II
HS Code  29212900
Toxicity LD50 orally in Rabbit: 463 mg/kg LD50 dermal Rabbit 1576 mg/kg
Signal word: Danger
Hazard statements:
Code Hazard statements Hazard class Category Signal word Pictogram P-Codes
H226 Flammable liquid and vapour Flammable liquids Category 3 Warning
H228 Flammable solid Flammable solids Category 1
Category 2
P210, P240,P241, P280, P370+P378
H302 Harmful if swallowed Acute toxicity,oral Category 4 Warning P264, P270, P301+P312, P330, P501
H311 Toxic in contact with skin Acute toxicity,dermal Category 3 Danger P280, P302+P352, P312, P322, P361,P363, P405, P501
H312 Harmful in contact with skin Acute toxicity,dermal Category 4 Warning P280,P302+P352, P312, P322, P363,P501
H314 Causes severe skin burns and eye damage Skin corrosion/irritation Category 1A, B, C Danger P260,P264, P280, P301+P330+ P331,P303+P361+P353, P363, P304+P340,P310, P321, P305+ P351+P338, P405,P501
H318 Causes serious eye damage Serious eye damage/eye irritation Category 1 Danger P280, P305+P351+P338, P310
H330 Fatal if inhaled Acute toxicity,inhalation Category 1, 2 Danger P260, P271, P284, P304+P340, P310,P320, P403+P233, P405, P501
H331 Toxic if inhaled Acute toxicity,inhalation Category 3 Danger P261, P271, P304+P340, P311, P321,P403+P233, P405, P501
Precautionary statements:
P210 Keep away from heat/sparks/open flames/hot surfaces. — No smoking.
P240 Ground/bond container and receiving equipment.
P241 Use explosion-proof electrical/ventilating/lighting/…/equipment.
P260 Do not breathe dust/fume/gas/mist/vapours/spray.
P264 Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
P264 Wash skin thouroughly after handling.
P270 Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product.
P271 Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.
P280 Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection.
P309 IF exposed or if you feel unwell:
P310 Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician.
P303+P361+P353 IF ON SKIN (or hair): Remove/Take off Immediately all contaminated clothing. Rinse SKIN with water/shower.
P305+P351+P338 IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continuerinsing.
P370+P378 In case of fire: Use … for extinction.
P405 Store locked up.
P403+P233 Store in a well-ventilated place. Keep container tightly closed.
P501 Dispose of contents/container to..…

1,4-DIAMINOBUTANE price More Price(10)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 51799 Putrescine analytical standard 110-60-1 100mg $52.5 2018-11-13 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich D13208 1,4-Diaminobutane 99% 110-60-1 25g $29.1 2018-11-13 Buy
TCI Chemical D0239 1,4-Diaminobutane >98.0%(GC)(T) 110-60-1 25g $26 2018-11-22 Buy
TCI Chemical D0239 1,4-Diaminobutane >98.0%(GC)(T) 110-60-1 400g $122 2018-11-22 Buy
Alfa Aesar B21316 1,4-Diaminobutane, 98+% 110-60-1 25g $29.5 2018-11-13 Buy

1,4-DIAMINOBUTANE Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


Putrescine is a low-molecular-weight nitrogenous base with the systematic name 1,4-diaminobutane. It is an aliphatic diamine belonging to the group of biogenic amines (Bas). Two basic amino groups are present, which at the physiological pH of 7.4 carry a positive charge that makes them suitable for a wide range of functions in different cell types. According to some authors, putrescine also belongs, together with cadaverine, spermine, and spermidine, to polyamines (molecules containing two or more amino groups in the molecule)[1,2]. Polyamines are found in all cell types and their presence in various kinds of foodstuffs is partly due to their endogenous origin. In humans, there are 3 common sources of putrescine: the first one is endogenous biosynthesis within their own cells, the second one includes foodstuffs (alimentary intake), and the last one is the production of putrescine by bacteria of the intestinal microflora. The largest amount of putrescine in humans is taken from food[2]. If none of the 3 sources of putrescine becomes excessive, putrescine is used for its physiological functions and the excess is excreted by normal metabolism. However, increased intake of putrescine in food can lead to serious toxicological consequences.

Figure 1 The chemical structure of putrescine


l ,4-Diaminobutane (putrescine), spermidine, spermine, and closely related derivatives are found in a wide variety of animals, bacteria, yeasts, and plants. It is generally accepted that polyamine biosynthesis is intimately interrelated with the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins[3]. Polyamines are ubiquitous in biological materials, although the relative amounts of 1,4-diaminobutane, spermidine, and spermine differ markedly in different cells[4, 5]. In general, prokaryotes have a higher concentration of 1,4-diaminobutane than spermidine and lack spermine. Eukaryotes usually have little 1,4-diaminobutane, and have spermine as well as spermidine.
The pathway for the biosynthesis of 1,4-diaminobutane and spermidine was first established in microorganisms and was later found to be very similar in animal cells. In bacteria, 1,4-diaminobutane may be formed either by ornithine decarboxylase or by arginine decarboxylase via agmatine[6-8]. Both biosynthetic enzymes are normally present in Escherichia coli, although ornithine decarboxylation is usually the major pathway[8]. Both decarboxylases have been purified from E. coli and have been shown to require pyridoxal phosphate[9-11]. These enzymes are subject to feedback inhibition and repression by 1,4-diaminobutane or spermidine[12, 13]. In animal tissues amines are derived by decarboxylation of ornithine, rather than by decarboxylation of arginine[14, 15]. Purification of ornithine decarboxylase has been hindered by the very low enzyme activity normally present. However, as discussed in the section on the role of polyamines in growth, ornithine decarboxylase levels increase dramatically after a variety of stimuli, and the enzyme has been purified to apparent homogeneity from regenerating liver[17] and from the livers of rats treated with thioacetamide[18]. Pyridoxal phosphate appears to be a required cofactor[16, 19].

Physiological function

Putrescine fulfills important physiological functions in a wide variety of living cells. This BA shows many physiological functions and it is a precursor in the synthesis of other polyamines (spermine and spermidine). Putrescine is classified as a physiologic amine. Physiological functions of putrescine and other polyamines are related to their polycationic nature, which determines interactions with negatively charged molecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, phospholipids[20]. Newer studies show that putrescine, along with other polyamines and phosphate ions, forms nuclear aggregates of polyamines in the cell nuclei, which are responsible for the abovementioned interactions and affect the 3-dimensional structure of DNA[21]. These interactions are related to the regulation of the structure of nucleic acids and protein synthesis[22, 23].
Putrescine, along with other polyamines, binds to membrane structures such as phospholipids, mainly in erythrocytes. This polyamine may lead to a decrease in membrane fluidity but also to increased resistance to fragmentation due to stabilization of the membrane skeleton[24, 25]. It has also been found that apart from the membrane stabilization and the effect on the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins, polyamines are involved in the removal of free radicals[26]. In many mammals, they play an important role as luminal growth factors for intestinal maturation and growth[27, 28] and can play a significant role in the prevention of food allergies[29]. In mammals, polyamines have direct effects on several ion channels and receptors, resulting in the regulation of Ca2+, Na+, and K+ homeostasis[30, 31].


Putrescine is used as a precursor in many biological systems and synthon for amido-ureas. It is involved in the synthesis of nylon 46 by reacting with adipic acid[32].


With respect to important physiological functions, it is clear that disruption of the normal balance due to increased intake of putrescine from food can have serious toxicological consequences. Although the toxic effects of putrescine are significantly lower than that of histamine or tyramine, there are many serious secondary effects. Diamines such as putrescine have a very important role in alimentary poisoning as they can enhance and potentiate the toxic effect of histamine, tyramine, and phenylethylamine by interacting with enzymes that metabolize these BAs[33]. For example, experiments on guinea pigs and rats revealed that putrescine potentiates histamine toxicity up to 10 times[34, 35]. Putrescine enhances histamine toxicity by inhibiting enzymes oxidizing histamine diaminooxidase(DAO; EC and histamine N-methyltransferase (NMT; EC[36-38]. Moreover, from a toxicological point of view, a serious aspect of putrescine occurrence in foodstuffs is the possibility of forming carcinogenic nitrosamines. Putrescine can form carcinogenic nitrosamines by the reaction with nitrites[39, 40].

The effect of putrescine on food quality

In addition to the toxic effects, the occurrence of putrescine in foodstuffs leads to undesirable organoleptic properties and adversely affects the taste and aroma of food[41], for example, in shrimps, it is perceptible at concentrations of 3 mg/kg[42]. Increased occurrence of putrescine indicates food spoilage caused by microbial activity and it is also the main BA that indicates spoiled meat. The amount of putrescine, histamine, and cadaverine shows the freshness of meat and is defined as biogenic amines index (BAI)[43].


  1. Smith TA. 1981. Amines in food. Food Chem 6[3]:169–200.
  2. Bard´ocz S, Duguid TJ, Brown DS, Grant G, Pusztai A, White A, Ralph A. 1995. The importance of dietary polyamines in cell regeneration and growth. Br J Nutr 73[6]:819–28.
  3. Guggenheim, M. 1 9 5 1 . Die biogenell Amine. Switzerland: Karger. 4th ed.
  4. Tabor, H., Tabor, C. W. 1964. Pharmacal. Rev. 1 6:245-300
  5. Tabor, H., Tabor, C. W. 1972. Adv. Enzymol. 36:203-68
  6. Morris, D. R., Fillingame, R. H. 1974. Ann. Rev. Biochem. 43:303-25
  7. Morris, D. R., Pardee, A. B. 1966. J. Bio. Chem. 241:3 129-35
  8. Morris, D. R., Koffron, K. L. 1969. J. Bio. Chem. 244:6094-99
  9. Applebaum, D. 1972. Purification and characterization of induced and biosynthetic ornithine decarboxylases of Escherichia coli. PhD thesis. Univ. Washington. Seattle. 157 pp. Univ. Microfilms #73-1 3789
  10. Wu, W. H., Morris, D. R. 1973. J. Bio. Chem. 248: 1687-95, 1696-99
  11. Holtta, E., Janne, J., Pispa, J. 1972. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 47: 1165-71
  12. Tabor, H., Tabor. C. W. 1969. J. Bio. Chem. 244:2286-92
  13. Morris, D. R., Wu, W. H., Applebaum, D., Kofi'ron, K. L. 1970. See Ref. 8, pp. 968-76
  14. Russell, D. H., cd. 1973. Polyamines in Normal and Neoplastic Growth, New York: Raven. 429 pp.
  15. Herbst, E. J., Bachrach, U.,cds. 1970. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 171:693-1009
  16. Pegg. A. E . . Williams-Ashman. H. G. 1968. Biochem. J 108: 533-39
  17. Friedman, S. J., Halpern, K. Y., Canellakis, E. S. 1972. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 261:181-87
  18. Ono, M., Inoue, H., Suzuki, F., Takeda, Y. 1972. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 284:285-97
  19. Raina, A., Jiinne, J. 1968. Acta Chem. Scand. 22 :2375-77
  20. Igarashi K, Kashiwagi K. 2010. Modulation of cellular function by polyamines. Intl J Biochem Cell Biol 42[1]:39–51.
  21. Di Luccia A, Picariello G, Iacomino G, Formisano A, Paduano L, D’Agostino L. 2009. The in vitro nuclear aggregates of polyamines. FEBS J 276[8]:2324–35.
  22. Silla Santos MH. 1996. Biogenic amines: their importance in foods. Intl J Food Microbiol 29[2–3]:213–31.
  23. Hou MH, Lin SB, Yuann JM, Lin WC, Wang AH, Kan Ls L. 2001. Effects of polyamines on the thermal stability and formation kinetics of DNA duplexes with abnormal structure. Nucleic Acids Res 29[24]:5121–8.
  24. Til HP, Falke HE, Prinsen MK, Willems MI. 1997. Acute and subacute toxicity of tyramine, spermidine, spermine, putrescine and cadaverine in rats. Food Chem Toxicol 35[3–4]:337–48.
  25. Largue E, Sabater-Molina M, Zamora S. 2007. Biological significance of dietary polyamines. Nutrition 23[1]:87–95.
  26. Kaur-Sawhney R, Tiburcio AF, Altabella T, Galston AW. 2003. Polyamines in plants: an overview. J Cell Mol Biol 2:1–12.
  27. Dufour C, Dandrifosse G, Forget P, Vermesse F, Romain N, Lepoint P. 1988. Spermine and spermidine induce intestinal maturation in the rat. Gastroenterology 95[1]:112–6.
  28. L¨oser C. 2000. Polyamines in human and animal milk. Br J Nutr 84[Suppl1]:S55–8 Dandrifosse G, Peulen O, El Khefif N, Deloyer P, Dandrifosse AC, Grandfils C. 2000. Are milk polyamines preventive agents against food allergy? Proc Nutr Soc 59[1]:81–6.
  29. Dandrifosse G, Peulen O, El Khefif N, Deloyer P, Dandrifosse AC, Grandfils C. 2000. Are milk polyamines preventive agents against food allergy? Proc Nutr Soc 59[1]:81–6.
  30. Johnson TD. 1996. Modulation of channel function by polyamines. Trends Pharmacol Sci 17[1]:22–7.
  31. Li J, Doyle KM, Tatlisumak T. 2007. Polyamines in the brain: distribution, biological interactions, and their potential therapeutic role in brain ischemia. Curr Med Chem 14[17]:1807–
  33. Taylor SL. 1985a. Histamine food poisoning: toxicology and clinical aspects. Crit Rev Toxicol 17[2]:91–128.
  34. Parrot J, Nicot G. 1966. Pharmacology of histamine. In: Eichler O, Farah S, editors. Handbook of experimental pharmacology. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. p 148–61.
  35. Lehane L, Olley J. 2000. Histamine fish poisoning revisited. Intl J Food Microbiol 58[1–2]:1–37.
  36. Stratton JE, Hutkins RW, Taylor SL. 1991. Biogenic amines in cheese and other fermented foods: a review. J Food Prot 54[6]:460–70.
  37. Hern´andez-Jover T, Izquierdo-Pulido M, Veciana-Nogues MT, Marine-Font A, Vidal-Carou MC. 1997. Biogenic amine and polyamine contents in meat and meat products. J Agric Food Chem 45[6]:2098–102.
  38. Emborg J, Dalgaard P. 2006. Formation of histamine and biogenic amines in cold-smoked tuna: an investigation of psychrotolerant bacteria from samples implicated in cases of histamine fish poisoning. J Food Prot 69[4]:897–906.
  39. Shalaby AR. 1996. Significance of biogenic amines to food safety and human health. Food Res Intl 29[7]:675–90.
  40. Bover-Cid S, Holzapfel WH. 1999. Improved screening procedure for biogenic amine production by lactic acid bacteria. Intl J Food Microbiol 53[1]:33–41.
  41. Lehane L, Olley J. 2000. Histamine fish poisoning revisited. Intl J Food Microbiol 58[1–2]:1–37.
  42. Benner Jr RA, Staruszkiewicz WF, Rogers PL, Otwelle WS. 2003. Evaluation of putrescine, cadaverine, and indole as chemical indicators of decomposition in penaeid shrimp. J Food Sci 68[7]:2178–85.
  43. Karmas E. 1981. Biogenic amines as indicators of sea food freshness. Lebensmitt Wissensch Technol Food Sci Technol 14[5]:273–5.

Chemical Properties

colourless liquid


A GABA precursor in many biological systems.


ChEBI: A four-carbon alkane-alpha,omega-diamine. It is obtained by the breakdown of amino acids and is responsible for the foul odour of putrefying flesh.

Safety Profile

Poison by subcutaneous, intravenous, and rectal routes. Moderately toxic by ingestion. An experimental teratogen. Human mutation data reported. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of NOx. See also 1,3-BUTANEDIAMINE and AMINES.

Enzyme inhibitor

This diamine (FWfree-base = 88.15 g/mol; CAS 110-60-1; colorless oil; M.P. = 23-24°C; B.P. = 158-160°C), also known as tetramethylenediamine, 1,4- diaminobutane, and 1,4-butanediamine, is produced by the decarboxylation of ornithine and is a precursor for the polyamines spermidine and spermine. Purescine has a strong odor similar to that of piperidine. It is very soluble in water and ethanol. The dihydrochloride (FW = 161.07 g/mol) has a melting point of about 280°C, at which it decomposes. The pKa values at 20°C are 9.35 and 10.80 (at 30°C are 9.04 and 10.50). Target (s) : acetylspermidine deacetylase; adenosylmethionine decarboxylase; adenylate cyclase; agmatinase; agmatine deiminase; Agropyron elongatum nuclease; amino-acid N-acetyltransferase; 1-amino- cyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase; amylo-a-1,6-glucosidase/4-a- glucanotransferase, or glycogen debranching enzyme; arginine decarboxylase; arginine deiminase; arginyltransferase, weakly inhibited; carbamoyl-phosphate synthetase, glutamine- hydrolyzing; carbonic anhydrase, or carbonate dehydratase; deoxyhypusine monooxygenase, weakly inhibited; deoxyhypusine synthase; DNA (cytosine-5-) -methyltranferase; DNA-directed RNA polymerase; glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; glutamate dehydrogenase; glutamate:ethylamine ligase, or theanine synthetase, weakly inhibited; indolethylamine-N-methyltransferase ; kynureninase; lipoxygenase-1; lysine 5,6-aminomutase ; methionine S-adenosyltransferase; nitric-oxide synthase ; ornithine aminotransferase; ornithine carbamoyltransferase ; pancreatic ribonuclease, ribonuclease A; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; phospholipase C; phosphoprotein phosphatase I, e.g., phosphorylase phosphatase; polynucleotide adenylyltransferase, or poly (A) polymerase; protein-arginine N-methyltransferase; protein-glutamine g-glutamyltransferase, or transglutaminase; also alternative substrate; protein kinase C; pyridoxal kinase ; ribonuclease; RNA-directed RNA polymerase; spermine synthase, or spermidine aminopropyltransferase; tRNA (adenine-N1-) -methyltransferase; tRNA adenylyltransferase; tRNA (cytosine-5-) -methyltransferase; tRNA (uracil-5-) - methyltransferase; and tubulinyl-tyrosine carboxypeptidase, inhibited above 6 mM.

1,4-DIAMINOBUTANE Preparation Products And Raw materials

Raw materials

Preparation Products


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