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Keywords:

  • Stereochemistry;
  • Symmetry elements;
  • Symmetry operations;
  • Stereoisomer classification

Abstract

This review initiates a general presentation of the principles of stereochemistry with special reference to medicinal compounds. The format is essentially identical with that of a previous Series of seven reviews on the Metabolism of Drugs and Other Xenobiotics published between October 2006 and October 2009 by B. T. and Stefanie Krämer in Chemistry & Biodiversity. Here, there will be eight reviews published in Helvetica Chimica Acta, to be grouped and published in book form together with some additional material. Part 1 introduces this new series by presenting and illustrating basic concepts on which the edifice of stereochemistry is built. At the most basic level of such foundations, we find symmetry as presented here in terms of its elements, operations, and point groups. This is followed by a classification of isomeric molecular structures, as well as a classification of steric relationships between molecular fragments.