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Serinol: small molecule - big impact
The amino alcohol serinol (2-amino-1,3-propanediol) has become a common intermediate for several chemical processes. Since the 1940s serinol was used as precursor for synthesis of synthetic antibiotics (chloramphenicol). In the last years, new scopes of applications were discovered. Serinol is used for X-ray contrast agents, pharmaceuticals or for chemical sphingosine/ceramide synthesis. It can either be obtained by chemical processes based on 2-nitro-1,3-propanediol, dihydroxyacetone and ammonia, dihydroxyacetone oxime or 5-amino-1,3- dioxane, or biotechnological application of amino alcohol dehydrogenases (AMDH) or transaminases. This review provides a survey of synthesis, properties and applications for serinol.