Valproic acid

Catalog No.S3944 Synonyms: 2-Propylvaleric Acid, Sodium valproate

Valproic acid Chemical Structure

Molecular Weight(MW): 144.21

Valproic acid is a fatty acid with anticonvulsant properties used in the treatment of epilepsy. It is also a histone deacetylase inhibitor and is under investigation for treatment of HIV and various cancers.

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Description Valproic acid is a fatty acid with anticonvulsant properties used in the treatment of epilepsy. It is also a histone deacetylase inhibitor and is under investigation for treatment of HIV and various cancers.
HDAC1 [1]
(Cell-free assay)
0.4 mM
In vitro

Valproic acid (VPA), like lithium, activates Wnt-dependent gene expression, but unlike lithium, VPA does not inhibit GSK-3β in vivo. VPA can inhibit GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation of a CREB peptide in vitro. VPA may activate Wnt-dependent gene expression through inhibition of HDAC, which in turn leads to both increased expression of β-catenin and de-repression of Tcf/Lef (as well as activation of other HDAC-regulated genes). In vitro, VPA can stimulate glutamic acid decarboxylase, which is involved in GABA biosynthesis, and inhibit GABA transaminase, succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase, and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, enzymes involved in GABA degradation[1]. Valproic acid relieves HDAC-dependent transcriptional repression and causes hyperacetylation of histones in cultured cells and in vivo. VPA induces differentiation and/or apoptosis of carcinoma cells, PML-RAR-transformed hematopoietic progenitor cells and leukemic blasts from AML patients[2]. In addition to selectively inhibiting the catalytic activity of class I HDACs, VPA also induces proteasomal degradation of HDAC2[3].

In vivo Valproic acid (VPA) increases the level of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), with acute administration causing a 15-45% increase in GABA in the brains of rodents[1]. VPA also inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in animal experiments. It is a well-tolerated drug even during long-term treatment[2].


Cell Research:


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  • Cell lines: Neuro2A cells
  • Concentrations: 0.5-5 mM
  • Incubation Time: 24 h
  • Method:

    Neuro2A cells are treated with VPA (0.5-5 mM) or with TSA (300 nm) for 24 h and then histones are isolated. Histone acetylation is assessed by immunoblotting with an antibody specific to acetylated histone H4.

    (Only for Reference)
Animal Research:


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  • Animal Models: Rats
  • Formulation: isotonic saline
  • Dosages: 1.25 mM/kg
  • Administration: i.p.
    (Only for Reference)

Solubility (25°C)

Chemical Information

Molecular Weight 144.21


CAS No. 99-66-1
Storage powder
in solvent
Synonyms 2-Propylvaleric Acid, Sodium valproate

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Clinical Trial Information

NCT Number Recruitment Conditions Sponsor/Collaborators Start Date Phases
NCT03243461 Recruiting Glioblastoma WHO Grade IV|Diffuse Midline Glioma Histone 3 K27M WHO Grade IV|Anaplastic Astrocytoma WHO Grade III|Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma|Gliomatosis Cerebri University of Göttingen|Deutsche Kinderkrebsstiftung|Hannover Clinical Trial Center GmbH July 17 2018 Phase 3
NCT03525730 Recruiting HIV-1-infection Erasmus Medical Center April 18 2018 Phase 1|Phase 2
NCT03357757 Recruiting Cancer That is Associated With a Chronic Viral Infection|p16 Positive SCCHN|Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Cervix|p16 Positive Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Vagina or Vulva|p16 Positive Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Penis|p16 Positive Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus or Anal Canal|EBER Positive NPC|EBER Positive Hodgkins and Non-hodgkins Lymphona AHS Cancer Control Alberta|EMD Serono February 7 2018 Phase 2
NCT03048084 Recruiting Glioma Leiden University Medical Center|Medical Center Haaglanden|Erasmus Medical Center|VU University Medical Center February 1 2018 Phase 4
NCT03632915 Recruiting Acute Kidney Injury|Renal Insufficiency|Renal Failure|Pharmacokinetics University of Maryland|Center for Translational Medicine (CTM) University of Maryland School of Pharmacy November 20 2017 Phase 4
NCT03385525 Completed Drug Interaction Biogen September 12 2017 Phase 1

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Cell Lines Assay Type Concentration Incubation Time Formulation Activity Description PMID