Serine is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids on Earth.
As a constituent (residue) of proteins, its side chain can undergo O-linked glycosylation. This might be important in explaining some of the devastating consequences of diabetes. It is one of three amino acids residues that is commonly phosphorylated by kinases during cell signalling in eukaryotes. Phosphorylated serine residues are often referred to as phosphoserine. Serine proteases are a common type of protease.