Letter | Published:

Absolute Configuration of the Naturally Occurring α Amino-Acids

Naturevolume 140page150 (1937) | Download Citation



THANKS largely to the extensive researches of Levene and his collaborators, it now appears to be well established that, as suggested by Clough in 19181, the naturally occurring α amino-acids all possess the same configuration. Until recently, the absolute configuration was not known for any optically active compound, but in the course of a theoretical calculation of rotatory power, Boys2 deduced a rule giving the absolute configuration of any enantiomorph from the sense of its rotation—namely, "that a dextro compound has the configuration such that, when the largest group is nearest to the hypothetical observer the other groups in order of diminishing size appear in a clockwise rotation".

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  1. 1

    Clough, G. W., J. Chem. Soc., 113, 526 (1918).

  2. 2

    Boys, S. F., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 144, 655 (1934).

  3. 3

    Levene, P. A., and Mardashew, S., J. Biol. Chem., 117, 707 (1937).

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  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    • R. C. RAINEY


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