cis-Urocanic acid as a potential nickel(II) binding molecule in the human skin

Dalton Trans. 2014 Feb 28;43(8):3196-201. doi: 10.1039/c3dt53194e.


cis-Urocanic acid, a derivative of histidine, is one of the essential components of human skin. We found that it can bind nickel(II) ions in a pH-dependent manner, with the dissociation constant in the low millimolar range, as revealed by potentiometry, and confirmed by isothermal titration calorimetry and UV-vis spectroscopy. The binding occurs within the physiological skin pH range. Considering the fact that cis-urocanic acid is present in the human skin in concentrations as high as millimolar, this molecule may be a physiologically important player in nickel trafficking in the human organism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Histidine / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ions / chemistry
  • Isomerism
  • Nickel / chemistry*
  • Nickel / metabolism
  • Skin / chemistry*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Thermodynamics
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Urocanic Acid / chemistry*
  • Urocanic Acid / metabolism


  • Ions
  • Histidine
  • Nickel
  • Urocanic Acid