Metyrosine, (−)α-methyltyrosine, is synthesized in a few different ways, the simplest of which is the synthesis from 4-methoxyphenylacetone, which is reacted with potassium cyanide in the presence of ammonium carbonate to give the hydantoin. Treating this with hydrogen iodide removes the methyl-protecting group on the phenyl hydroxyl group and the product is hydrolyzed by barium hydroxide into a racemic mixture of α-methyl-D,L-tyrosine, from which the desired L-isomer is isolated.
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