Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Didier Despois
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1881-4



Dihydroxyacetone (IUPAC name 1,3-Dihydroxy-2-propanone) is one of the three simplest monosaccharides (“sugars”). Like the two others (L- and D-glyceraldehyde), it has three carbon atoms and is called a triose. But the molecule is symmetric and hence has no chiral center. It is present in cells where it plays a role in ATP production and other biological pathways and is produced by glycolysis. Dihydroxyacetone has been sought in the interstellar medium, but there is no convincing detection up to now.

See Also


Carbon Atom Bioorganic Chemistry Biological Pathway Interstellar Medium Chiral Center 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Observatoire de BordeauxFloiracFrance