Targeted Metabolomics Services


Updated 06/06/2023

What is measured?

Synonyms: Phenylacetylglutamine, alpha-N-phenylacetyl-L-glutamine, S)-5-amino-5-oxo-2-(2-phenylacetamido)pentanoic acid.
Method: GC-MS/MS.

What is Phenylacetylglutamine?

Phenylacetylglutamine (PAGln) is a bacterial metabolic product of phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is initially converted in the gut to phenylpyruvic acid and further to phenylacetic acid, which is conjugated with glutamine in the liver and kidney forming PAGln. PAGln may accumulate in renal disease and therefore is considered as a uremic toxin (2). Circulating concentrations have been related to the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), including myocardial infarction, stroke or death, and recently to heart failure and diabetes. Mechanistic studies indicated cardiovascular effects may partly at least be mediated by interaction of PAGln with G-protein coupled adrenergic receptors (2, 3). 


Assessment of cardiovascular risk.

Specimen, collection and processing

Patient/subject: No special precaution.
Matrix: Serum or EDTA plasma.
Volume: Minimum volume is 50 µL, but 200 µL is optimal and allows reanalysis.
Preparation and stability: Stable.


Frozen, on dry ice. (for general instruction on transportation, click here)

Reported values, interpretation

Reported values: 2-20 µmol/L
Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC): na.


1. Midttun, Ø., McCann, A., Aarseth, O., Krokeide, M., Kvalheim, G., Meyer, K., and Ueland, P.M. (2016). Combined measurement of 6 fat-soluble vitamins and 26 water-soluble functional vitamin markers and amino acids in 50 μL of serum or plasma by high-throughput mass spectrometry. Anal Chem 88, 10427-436.
2. Nemet, I., Saha, P. P., Gupta, N., Zhu, W., Romano, K. A., Skye, S. M. et al. (2020). A Cardiovascular disease-linked gut microbial metabolite acts via adrenergic receptors. Cell, 180, 862-877.e22.
3. Awoyemi, A., J. R. Hov, & M. Trøseid (2023) Phenylacetylglutamine from the gut icrobiota: A future therapeutic target in heart failure. Circ Heart Fail 16, e010222.

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