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Record Information
StatusDetected and Quantified
Creation Date2005-11-16 15:48:42 UTC
Update Date2023-07-07 20:54:00 UTC
Secondary Accession Numbers
  • HMDB0000589
  • HMDB00187
  • HMDB00589
  • HMDB0062263
  • HMDB62263
Metabolite Identification
Common NameSerine
DescriptionSerine (Ser) or L-serine is an alpha-amino acid. These are amino acids in which the amino group is attached to the carbon atom immediately adjacent to the carboxylate group (alpha carbon). Amino acids are organic compounds that contain amino (-NH2) and carboxyl (-COOH) functional groups, along with a side chain (R group) specific to each amino acid. L-serine is one of 20 proteinogenic amino acids, i.e., the amino acids used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Serine is found in all organisms ranging from bacteria to plants to animals. It is classified as a polar, uncharged (at physiological pH), aliphatic amino acid. In humans, serine is a nonessential amino acid that can be easily derived from glycine. A non-essential amino acid is an amino acid that can be synthesized from central metabolic pathway intermediates in humans and is not required in the diet. Like all the amino acid building blocks of protein and peptides, serine can become essential under certain conditions, and is thus important in maintaining health and preventing disease. L-Serine may be derived from four possible sources: dietary intake; biosynthesis from the glycolytic intermediate 3-phosphoglycerate; from glycine; and by protein and phospholipid degradation. Little data is available on the relative contributions of each of these four sources of l-serine to serine homoeostasis. It is very likely that the predominant source of l-serine will be very different in different tissues and during different stages of human development. In the biosynthetic pathway, the glycolytic intermediate 3-phosphoglycerate is converted into phosphohydroxypyruvate, in a reaction catalyzed by 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (3- PGDH; EC Phosphohydroxypyruvate is metabolized to phosphoserine by phosphohydroxypyruvate aminotransferase (EC and, finally, phosphoserine is converted into l-serine by phosphoserine phosphatase (PSP; EC In liver tissue, the serine biosynthetic pathway is regulated in response to dietary and hormonal changes. Of the three synthetic enzymes, the properties of 3-PGDH and PSP are the best documented. Hormonal factors such as glucagon and corticosteroids also influence 3-PGDH and PSP activities in interactions dependent upon the diet. L-serine is the predominant source of one-carbon groups for the de novo synthesis of purine nucleotides and deoxythymidine monophosphate. It has long been recognized that, in cell cultures, L-serine is a conditional essential amino acid, because it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities to meet the cellular demands for its utilization. In recent years, L-serine and the products of its metabolism have been recognized not only to be essential for cell proliferation, but also to be necessary for specific functions in the central nervous system. The findings of altered levels of serine and glycine in patients with psychiatric disorders and the severe neurological abnormalities in patients with defects of L-serine synthesis underscore the importance of L-serine in brain development and function. (PMID 12534373 ).
(2S)-2-Amino-3-hydroxypropanoic acidChEBI
(S)-2-Amino-3-hydroxypropanoic acidChEBI
(S)-alpha-Amino-beta-hydroxypropionic acidChEBI
L-2-Amino-3-hydroxypropionic acidChEBI
L-3-Hydroxy-2-aminopropionic acidChEBI
(S)-a-Amino-b-hydroxypropionic acidGenerator
(S)-Α-amino-β-hydroxypropionic acidGenerator
(S)-2-Amino-3-hydroxy-propanoic acidHMDB
(S)-b-Amino-3-hydroxypropionic acidHMDB
(S)-beta-Amino-3-hydroxypropionic acidHMDB
2-Amino-3-hydroxypropanoic acidHMDB
L SerineHMDB
e 161bHMDB
Chemical FormulaC3H7NO3
Average Molecular Weight105.0926
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight105.042593095
IUPAC Name(2S)-2-amino-3-hydroxypropanoic acid
Traditional NameL-serine
CAS Registry Number56-45-1
InChI Identifier
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as serine and derivatives. Serine and derivatives are compounds containing serine or a derivative thereof resulting from reaction of serine at the amino group or the carboxy group, or from the replacement of any hydrogen of glycine by a heteroatom.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassOrganic acids and derivatives
ClassCarboxylic acids and derivatives
Sub ClassAmino acids, peptides, and analogues
Direct ParentSerine and derivatives
Alternative Parents
  • Serine or derivatives
  • Alpha-amino acid
  • L-alpha-amino acid
  • Beta-hydroxy acid
  • Hydroxy acid
  • Amino acid
  • Carboxylic acid
  • Monocarboxylic acid or derivatives
  • Alcohol
  • Primary amine
  • Primary alcohol
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Primary aliphatic amine
  • Organic oxide
  • Organopnictogen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Amine
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Aliphatic acyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAliphatic acyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physiological effectNot Available
Biological locationSource
Naturally occurring process