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Shikimic acid is a white crystal compound of nonnitrogenous acid found in various plants naturally.
Shikimic acid has two kind functional groups in the same molecule, three hydroxyl groups and a carboxylic acid group, which are optically active. They can yield various kinds of esters and salts.The most important feature of cyclitol is that there are chiral isomers, key intermediates in the biosynthesis of aromatic compounds in living metabolism.
Shikimic acid is a key intermediate in the biochemical pathway from phosphoenolpyruvic acid to tyrosine.
Shikimic acid is a precursor of many a lkaloids, aromatic amino acids, and indole derivatives. Shikimic acid is widely used as a chiral building block for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals.