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Para-Aminobenzoic Acid

Last updated date: 16th May 2024
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Introduction to Para-Aminobenzoic Acid

Para aminobenzoic acid is also known as aminobenzoic acid or 4-aminobenzoic acid. It is considered a growth factor in several microorganisms. For example, it is used in the synthesis of folic acid in bacteria. Folic acid is important in the synthesis of bacteria. Therefore, the drug sulfanilamide is generally administered during bacterial infection since it targets the process of bacterial utilization of Para aminobenzoic acid during folic acid synthesis in these organisms.

However, vertebrates do not synthesize their own folic acid and rather take it as a nutritional supplement. Therefore, PABA benzoic acid is not used for DNA synthesis in vertebrates. However, it has other applications for vertebrates. For example, it is an essential component in Brewer’s yeast, used to make beer. Moreover, it is an active ingredient in different sunscreen lotions as it can act as a screen against harmful ultraviolet radiation. 

Chemical Properties of Para Aminobenzoic Acid

Para aminobenzoic acid is also known as 4-aminobenzoic acid. It is so called since the functional group is attached to the fourth carbon in the benzene ring. Since this carbon is present in the para position, it is also called para aminobenzoic acid. Because of the benzene ring, Para aminobenzoic acid is considered an organic compound. 

The formula for Para aminobenzoic acid is H2NC6H4CO2H. It is a white solid compound. However, you might find that the commercially available Para aminobenzoic acid is grey in color. The organic compound is slightly soluble in water. It has carboxyl and amino groups attached to the benzene ring.

Chemical Synthesis of Para Aminobenzoic Acid

In industries, Para aminobenzoic acid is prepared by two routes. In one of the processes, terephthalic acid is used. Monoamide is produced from terephthalic acid. Hoffman degradation of this monoamide results in the formation of Para aminobenzoic acid.

In another process, 4-nitrobenzoic acid is reduced to form Para aminobenzoic acid. This reaction takes place in a controlled manner. Para aminobenzoic acid can also be obtained from different food sources like Brewer’s yeast, liver, unfiltered beer, molasses, mushrooms, whole grains, and animal kidneys.

Use of Para Aminobenzoic Acid in DNA Synthesis

Para aminobenzoic acid is one of the chief constituents in the process of DNA synthesis in different organisms like bacteria, fungi, and plants. Even E.coli, the bacteria found in the human intestine, can produce Para aminobenzoic acid. The process of DNA synthesis using Para aminobenzoic acid is given below. 

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Tetrahydrofolate synthesis pathway

Plants can produce PABA and folic acid in their chloroplast. However, humans cannot produce Para aminobenzoic acid in their cells. They lack the enzyme required for folic acid synthesis. Therefore, they require Para aminobenzoic acid as a food supplement, like green leafy vegetables.

Para aminobenzoic acid was once considered a vitamin for humans. It was termed Vitamin Bx. However, it is no longer considered a vitamin since the microbiome in the human intestine can produce Para aminobenzoic acid.

Para Aminobenzoic Acid Uses in the Medical Field

Since Para aminobenzoic acid is an essential component in the process of DNA synthesis in several bacteria, targeting this process can be an essential step in preventing bacterial growth following infection.  Sulfanilamide drugs are designed to target this process so that the bacteria cannot synthesize their DNA.

The potassium salt of this drug is also used against several fibrotic skin disorders like Peyronie’s disease. The commercial name of this compound is called Potaba. If any patient suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, Para aminobenzoic acid can also be used to treat gastrointestinal symptoms. It is also used for determining urinary nitrogen, potassium, and sodium levels. These are some of the prominent para aminobenzoic acid uses.

PABA Supplements For Nutritional Purposes

Till now, there are no known problems associated with Para aminobenzoic acid deficiency in humans. However, people who lack colonic bacteria can get affected by such a deficiency, requiring a PABA supplement. These PABA supplements can help them in the growth of new bacterial colonies in their intestine.

Many companies have claimed that Para benzoic acid has several nutritional values. It can be used as a supplement to treat depression, fatigue, weeping eczema, irritability, scleroderma, pigment loss from the skin in patches, and premature grey hair. Moreover, as stated earlier, it can block ultraviolet radiations and be used as an essential component of different sunscreen lotions. You can search for more Para aminobenzoic acid using keywords like ‘Para aminobenzoic acid Adalah.’

FAQs on Para-Aminobenzoic Acid

1. How Do Para Aminobenzoic Acid Help Different Organisms?

Ans: Para aminobenzoic acid is an essential component in different organisms like bacteria, fungi, and plants. This chemical compound helps in the production of DNA in these organisms. These organisms use folic acid to produce tetrahydrofolate, which is then converted into purines and pyrimidines, essential parts of different DNAs. Para amino benzoic acid is an essential component in the folic acid synthesis pathway. 

The organisms themselves can produce para aminobenzoic acid. It is produced in the cell bodies of bacteria and fungi. In plants, it is produced in the chloroplasts, the cell organelle that has its own DNA. Most probably, the synthetic mechanism comes from the blue-green algae that became a part of these plants in the evolutionary process. Even in colonic bacteria like E.coli, Para aminobenzoic acid is produced.

Para amino benzoic acid can also protect against harmful ultraviolet radiation and is thus used in different sunscreen lotions.

2. How is Para Amino Benzoic Acid Produced in Industries, and What are its Chemical Properties?

Ans: Para aminobenzoic acid is produced on large scales in different industries.  In the industry, it is produced by either of the two processes. Reduction of 4-nitrobenzoic acid in a controlled manner results in the production of Para aminobenzoic acid. Para aminobenzoic acid can also be formed by a stepwise reaction with Terephthalic acid as its starting component. Monoamines are produced from Terephthalic acid. Hoffman degradation of these monoamines results in the formation of Para aminobenzoic acid.

Para aminobenzoic acid is an organic compound. It consists of a benzene ring with carboxylic acid and amino groups as functional groups attached to the fourth carbon atom. Since the carbon is in the para position, it is known as Para aminobenzoic acid. It is a white solid but can appear grey when obtained commercially. It is slightly soluble in water.