L-Serine (abbreviated Ser or S) is a proteinogenic amino acid with the formula HO2CCH(NH2)CH2OH. It is a polar compound and is one of the naturally occurring amino acids in the human body. It is not essential to the human diet since it is synthesized from other metabolites such as glycine. Serine was first acquired from silk protein in 1865 and was named from the Latin word for silk. Its structure was established in 1902.Serine can also be naturally produced when UV light illuminates simple ices such as water, methanol, or ammonia. Serine is important for the catalytic function of many enzymes.
L-Serine is produced by fermentation in industries. In labs, racemic serine is produced from methyl acrylate through many steps.
(S)- serine (left) and (R)- serine (right)