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trans-Cinnamic acid is used in flavors, synthetic indigo and pharmaceuticals. It is involved in the production of methyl, ethyl and benzyl esters, which is used in the perfume industry. It serves as a precursor to the sweetener aspartame through enzyme-catalyzed amination to phenylalanine. It is a self-inhibitor produced by fungal spores to prevent germination. In addition, it is used to establish phenolic compounds by liquid chromatography, ultraviolet and mass spectrometry. It is utilized as a potential agent, thereby preventing lung tumor cells from metastasizing. Further, it induces intracellular release of calcium ions from the vacuole to the cytoplasm in order to trigger phytotoxicity in cucumber.
Heating with excess thionyl chloride and a catalytic amount of pyridine gives a benzo[b]thiophene derivative, formed by electrophilic addition of thionyl chloride across the double bond of cinnamoyl chloride, Pummerer rearrangement of the resulting sulfinyl chloride and final cyclization. ɑ-Chlorocinnamoyl chloride is formed as a by-product by elimination of SCl2: J. Org. Chem., 40, 3037 (1975):
Under similar conditions, 3-phenylpropionic acid gave the same products in lower yield; the reaction was thought to occur via an initial ɑ-enolization of the acid chloride: Tetrahedron Lett., 5149 (1968).
Bradley, J. C. Determination of Abraham model solute descriptors for the monomeric and dimeric forms of trans-cinnamic acid using measured solubilities from the Open Notebook Science Challenge. Chem. Cent. J. 2015, 9 (1), 11.
Wang, H.; Li, Q.; Deng, W.; Omari-siaw, E.; Wang, Q.; Wang, S.; Wang, S.; Cao, X.; Xu, X.; Yu, J. Self-Nanoemulsifying Drug Delivery System of trans-Cinnamic acid: Formulation Development and Pharmacodynamic Evaluation in Alloxan-induced Type 2 Diabetic Rat Model. Drug Dev. Res. 2015, 76 (2), 82-93.
Hazard Statements: H315-H319-H335
Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye irritation. May cause respiratory irritation.
Precautionary Statements: P305+P351+P338
IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing.