Chemical Component Summary

Identifiers (2E,4E,6E,8E)-3,7-dimethyl-9-(2,6,6-trimethylcyclohexen-1-yl)nona-2,4,6,8-tetraenoic acid
Formula C20 H28 O2
Molecular Weight 300.44 g/mol
Type non-polymer
Isomeric SMILES C\C(\C=C\C1=C(C)CCCC1(C)C)=C/C=C/C(/C)=C/C(O)=O
InChI InChI=1S/C20H28O2/c1-15(8-6-9-16(2)14-19(21)22)11-12-18-17(3)10-7-13-20(18,4)5/h6,8-9,11-12,14H,7,10,13H2,1-5H3,(H,21,22)/b9-6+,12-11+,15-8+,16-14+

Chemical Details

Formal Charge 0
Atom Count 50
Chiral Atom Count 0
Chiral Atoms
Bond Count 50
Aromatic Bond Count 0

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank ID DB00982   (Different stereochemistry)
Name Isotretinoin
Groups approved
Description Isotretinoin is a medication used for the treatment of severe acne. It is sometimes used in prevention of certain skin cancers. It is a retinoid, meaning it derives from vitamin A and is found in small quantities naturally in the body. Isotretinoin binds to and activates nuclear retinoic acid receptors (RAR), thereby regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. This agent also exhibits immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory responses and inhibits ornithine decarboxylase, thereby decreasing polyamine synthesis and keratinization.
  • (7e,9e,11e,13Z)-Retinoic acid
  • 13-cis-Retinoic acid
  • 13-cis-Vitamin a acid
  • 13-RA
  • Accutane
Brand Names
  • Absorica
  • Accutane Roche
  • Amnesteem
  • Claravis
  • Clarus
Affected Organism Humans and other mammals
Indication For the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne
Pharmacology Isotretinoin, a retinoid, is indicated in the treatment of severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Nodules are inflammatory lesions with a diameter of 5 mm or greater. The nodules may become suppurative or hemorrhagic. "Severe," by definition, means "many" as opposed to "few or several" nodules. Clinical improvement in nodular acne patients occurs in association with a reduction in sebum secretion. The decrease in sebum secretion is temporary and is related to the dose and duration of treatment with Accutane, and reflects a reduction in sebaceous gland size and an inhibition of sebaceous gland differentiation.
Mechanism of action Isotretinoin noticeably reduces the production of sebum and shrinks the sebaceous glands. It stabilises keratinization and prevents comedones from forming. It also reduces inflammation in moderate-severe inflammatory acne. The exact mechanism of action is unknown, however it is known that it alters DNA transcription.
Route of administration
  • Oral
  • Topical
  • Alkenes
  • Anti-Acne Preparations
  • Anti-Acne Preparations for Systemic Use
  • Biological Factors
  • Carotenoids
  • D10AD54
  • D10AD04
  • D10BA01
AHFS-Code 84:92.00
CAS number 4759-48-2

Drug Targets

Name Sequence Search Pharmacological Action Actions
Retinoic acid receptor alpha Search unknown other/unknown
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID: 21059682