246 ºC decomp.
Serine (abbreviated as Ser or S) is an organic compound with the formula HO2CCH(NH2)CH2OH.
It is one of the naturally occurring proteinogenic amino acids. Its codons are UCU, UCC, UCA, UCG, AGU and AGC. Only the L-stereoisomer appears naturally in proteins. It is not essential to the human diet, since it is synthesized in the body from other metabolites, including glycine. Serine was first obtained from silk protein, a particularly rich source, in 1865. Its name is derived from the Latin for silk, sericum. Serine's structure was established in 1902. By virtue of the hydroxyl group, serine is classified as a polar amino acid.
The biosynthesis of serine starts with the oxidation of 3-phosphoglycerate to 3-phosphohydroxypyruvate and NADH. Reductive amination of this ketone followed by hydrolysis gives serine. Serine hydroxymethyltransferase catalyzes the reversible, simultaneous conversions of L-serine to glycine (retro-aldol cleavage) and 5,6,7,8-tetrahydrofolate to 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (hydrolysis).
Racemic serine can be prepared from methyl acrylate via several steps. It is also naturally produced when UV light illuminates simple ices such as a combination of water, methanol, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia, suggesting that it may be easily produced in cold regions of space. 
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