Amino Acid & Derivatives

Amino acids are molecules containing an amine group, a carboxylic acid group, and a side-chain that is specific to each amino acid. The key elements of an amino acid are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. They are particularly important in biochemistry, where the term usually refers to alpha-amino acids.

An alpha-amino acid has the generic formula H2NCHRCOOH, where R is an organic substituent ; the amino group is attached to the carbon atom immediately adjacent to the carboxylate group (the α–carbon). Other types of amino acid exist when the amino group is attached to a different carbon atom; for example, in gamma-amino acids (such asgamma-amino-butyric acid) the carbon atom to which the amino group attaches is separated from the carboxylate group by two other carbon atoms. The various alpha-amino acids differ in which side-chain (R-group) is attached to their alpha carbon, and can vary in size from just one hydrogen atom in glycine to a large heterocyclic group intryptophan.

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  • Serine (L-)
  • Taurine
  • Threonine
  • Valine (L-)


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