13-cis-Retinoic acid

≥98% (HPLC)

Empirical Formula (Hill Notation):
CAS Number:
Molecular Weight:
EC Number:
MDL number:
PubChem Substance ID:

Quality Level


≥98% (HPLC)




HPLC: suitable


yellow to yellow-orange


172-175 °C (lit.)

storage temp.


SMILES string




InChI key


Gene Information

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13-cis-Retinoic acid has been used:
  • as a component of fresh media for LA-N-5 differentiation
  • to treat medulloblastoma cells for cell differentiation
  • to treat spheroids for generating time-lapse videos
  • to examine its head- deforming activity under light and dark conditions in Xenopus laevis


100, 250, 500 mg in ampule

Biochem/physiol Actions

13-cis-Retinoic acid (RA) has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor action. The action of RA is mediated through RAR-β and RAR-α receptors. RA attenuates iNOS expression and activity in cytokine-stimulated murine mesangial cells. It induces mitochondrial membrane permeability transition, observed as swelling and as a decrease in membrane potential, and stimulates the release of cytochrome c implicating mechanisms through the apoptosis pathway. These activities are reversed by EGTA and cyclosporin A. RA also increases MMP-1 protein expression partially via increased transcription.

Features and Benefits

This compound is also offered as part of Sigma′s Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC®1280), a biologically annotated collection of high-quality, ready-to-screen compounds. Click here to learn more.

Other Notes

Tandem Mass Spectrometry data independently generated by Scripps Center for Metabolomics is available to view or download in PDF. R3255.pdf Tested metabolites are featured on Scripps Center for Metabolomics METLIN Metabolite Database. To learn more, visit sigma.com/metlin.

Legal Information

LOPAC is a registered trademark of Sigma-Aldrich Co. LLC


Exclamation markHealth hazard

Signal Word


Hazard Statements

Target Organs

Respiratory system

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US),Eyeshields,Gloves


NONH for all modes of transport

WGK Germany


Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Certificate of Analysis

Certificate of Origin

M P Rigobello et al.
Biochemical pharmacology, 58(4), 665-670 (1999-07-21)
Retinoic acids, structurally related to vitamin A, inhibit the in vitro proliferation of different types of normal and neoplastic cells. The effects of all-trans, 9-cis, and 13-cis retinoic acids were tested on mitochondria isolated from rat liver. All the compounds...
Differential expression, distinct localization and opposite effect on Golgi structure and cell differentiation by a novel splice variant of human PRMT5
Sohail M , et al.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1853(10), 2444-2452 (2015)
Live multicellular tumor spheroid models for high-content imaging and screening in cancer drug discovery
Reid B G, et al.
Current Chemical Genomics and Translational Medicine, 8(Suppl-1), 27-27 (2014)
Raoud Marayati et al.
Translational oncology, 14(1), 100893-100893 (2020-10-04)
Retinoic acid (RA) therapy has been utilized as maintenance therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma, but over half of patients treated with RA relapse. Neuroblastoma stem cell-like cancer cells (SCLCCs) are a subpopulation of cells characterized by the expression of the cell...
Induction of pronephric tubules by activin and retinoic acid in presumptive ectoderm of Xenopus laevis
Moriya N, et al.
Development, Growth & Differentiation, 35(2), 123-128 (1993)
All-trans retinoic acid (RA, ATRA) is a pleiotropic activation factor that regulates genes associated with normal vertebrate cellular processes such as cell differentiation, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and embryonic development.
Read More
All-trans retinoic acid (RA, ATRA) is a pleiotropic activation factor that regulates genes associated with normal vertebrate cellular processes such as cell differentiation, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and embryonic development.
Read More
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