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CAS number 583-50-6 (D) YesY, 533-49-3 (L) YesY
PubChem 94176 (D)
ChemSpider 84990 (D) YesY
ChEBI CHEBI:27904 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
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Molecular formula C4H8O4
Molar mass 120.10 g mol−1
Appearance Light yellow syrup
Solubility in water Very soluble
NFPA 704
Flammability code 1: Must be pre-heated before ignition can occur. Flash point over 93 °C (200 °F). E.g., canola oil Health code 1: Exposure would cause irritation but only minor residual injury. E.g., turpentine Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Erythrose is a tetrose carbohydrate with chemical formula C4H8O4. It has one aldehyde group and so is part of the aldose family. The natural isomer is D-erythrose.

Fischer projections

Erythrose is an anti-cancer agent. In vitro, 3-4mM erythrose effectively kills cancer cells for tested cell lines such as: lung cancers, breast cancers, colorectal cancers, etc.; higher dose maybe required for some other cancer cell lines, liver and prostate.[2]

Erythrose is a very small molecule, molecule weight 120, 2/3 of Glucose. Glucose is the human body universal fuel. The human body has a very high tolerance to glucose. The blood sugar can reach 8mM after a normal meal. Diabetes can have blood sugar (mainly glucose)up to 30mM for days. Lactate, weight 90, blood concentration can reach 4mM after exercise in our body. Ketone bodies, weight about 100, blood concentration can reach up to 15mM during fasting.

Erythrose 4-phosphate is in human body, participate pentose phosphate pathway.

Erythrose is used as body fuel, as glucose. The final products are carbon dioxide and water.[3]

Erythrulose, an isomer of Erythrose, is non-toxic. Toxicity is very low.[4]

Erythrose can be used as only energy source for oxidative bacteria.[5]


  1. ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 3637
  2. ^ Wang X and Wei Y 2010 “Erythrose kill cancer cell in vitro and inhibit tumor growth in vivo” American Association for Cancer Research 101st Conference.
  3. ^ Batt RD, Dickens F, Williamson DH. 1960. Tetrose metabolism 2. The utilization of tetroses and tetritols by rat tissues. Biochem J. 77:281-94.
  4. '^ National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS). Erythrulose. Australia February 11, 2008.
  5. ^ Hiatt HH, Horecker BL. 1956. D-erythrose metabolism in a strain of Alcaligenes faecalis. J Bacteriol. 71(6):649-54.