Crystal Structure of Serotonin Picrate, a Donor-Acceptor Complex

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  20 Nov 1970:
Vol. 170, Issue 3960, pp. 852-854
DOI: 10.1126/science.170.3960.852


The crystal structure of the red picric acid salt of serotonin was determined by x-ray diffraction methods. The structure consists of parallel hydroxyindole and picrate planes which are intimately stacked with an interplanar separation of 3.3 to 3.4 angstroms. The stacking interaction appears to be of the donor-acceptor (charge-transfer) type, involving specific contacts between picrate nitro groups and atoms of the hydroxyindole moieties. Similar interactions might mediate biological processes involving serotonin.

Stay Connected to Science