Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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

Hydroxy Acid

  • Henderson James Jim CleavesII
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_763-4

Definition

Hydroxy acids are organic compounds containing both hydroxyl and carboxylic acid functional groups. α-Hydroxy acids are a particularly important class of carboxylic acids which have a hydroxyl group on the carbon adjacent to the carboxylic acid group or α-carbon. They may be either naturally occurring or synthetic. Commonly occurring biological α-hydroxy acids include lactic (CH3CHOHCOOH), glyceric (HOCH2CHOHCOOH), glycolic (HOCH2COOH), and malic (HOOCCH2CHOHCOOH) acids. α-Hydroxy acids are important metabolic products of the biological transamination of amino acids. Several α-hydroxy acids and α-hydroxy acid polyols have been identified in the Murchison meteorite. Some interpret the presence of α-hydroxy acids in this body as evidence for the Strecker-cyanohydrin mechanism for the synthesis of the amino acids also found in it.

See Also

Keywords

Organic Compound Carboxylic Acid Bioorganic Chemistry Acid Group Important Class 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)Tokyo Institute of TechnologyMeguro-kuJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Blue Marble Space Institute of ScienceWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Chemical EvolutionGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA