Application of Acrolein Imines to Organic Synthesis, Biofunctional Studies, and Clinical Practice

Chem Rec. 2021 Apr;21(4):646-662. doi: 10.1002/tcr.202000146. Epub 2021 Mar 26.


N-alkyl unsaturated imines derived from acrolein, a toxin produced during oxidative stress, and biogenic alkyl amines occur naturally and are considered biologically relevant compounds. However, despite the recent conceptual and technological advances in organic synthesis, research on the new reactivity of these compounds is lacking. This personal account discusses research on the reactivity that has been overlooked in acrolein imines, including the discovery of new methods to synthesize biologically active compounds, the determination of new functions of relevant imines and their precursors, i. e., aldehydes and amines, and the application of these methods for clinical diagnosis.

Keywords: acrolein; breast cancer; intraoperative diagnosis; natural products; unsaturated imine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrolein / chemical synthesis
  • Acrolein / chemistry*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imines / chemical synthesis
  • Imines / chemistry*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidative Stress


  • Imines
  • Acrolein