Strecker degradation

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The Strecker degradation is a chemical reaction which converts an α-amino acid into an aldehyde containing the side chain, by way of an imine intermediate. It is named after Adolph Strecker, a German chemist.

The original observation by Strecker involved the use of alloxan as the oxidant in the first step,[1] followed by hydrolysis:

Strecker Degradation.png

The reaction can take place using a variety of organic and inorganic reagents.[2]


  1. ^ Strecker, A (1862). "Notiz über eine eigenthümliche Oxydation durch Alloxan" [Notice of a curious oxidation by alloxan]. Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie. 123 (2): 363–365. doi:10.1002/jlac.18621230312.
  2. ^ Schonberg, Alexander; Moubacher, Radwan (1952). "The Strecker Degradation of α-Amino Acids". Chem. Rev. 50 (2): 261–277. doi:10.1021/cr60156a002.