Most enzymes that catalyse this reaction are pyridoxal-phosphate-dependent, although some enzymes contain an iron-sulfur cluster instead . The reaction catalysed by both types of enzymes involves the initial elimination of water to form an enamine intermediate (hence the enzyme's original classification as EC 126.96.36.199, L-serine dehydratase), followed by tautomerization to an imine form and hydrolysis of the C-N bond. The latter reaction, which can occur spontaneously, is also be catalysed by EC 188.8.131.52, 2-iminobutanoate/2-iminopropanoate deaminase. This reaction is also carried out by EC 184.108.40.206, threonine ammonia-lyase, from a number of sources.
EC 220.127.116.11 created 1961 as EC 18.104.22.168, transferred 2001 to EC 22.214.171.124, modified 2014