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Amino Acid Chain

The Amino Acid chain plays a critical role in our body. It is responsible for breaking food, repairing body tissue, and the growth of the body. It is the body’s building block and is also responsible for maintaining its pH. And store nitrogen in our bodies. Asparagine and glutamine are amino acid derivatives present in the body responsible for keeping nitrogen inside our bodies.

This section will discuss amino acid, amino acid types, and amino acid functions.

Table of Content

What is an Amino Acid Chain?

Amino acids are organic compounds containing two functional groups, i.e. amino (−NH3+) and carboxylate (−COO) and an organic side chain. Twenty different amino acids are used to build a protein. Protein may contain one or more chains of amino acids named polypeptides. The amino acid chain sequence causes the polypeptide to fold into a biologically active shape.

It is responsible for breaking food, repairing body tissue, and the growth of the body. It is the body’s building block and is also responsible for maintaining its pH. And store nitrogen in our bodies. Asparagine and Glutamine are amino acid derivatives present in the body responsible for keeping nitrogen inside our bodies.

Types of Amino Acid

Based on the location of the functional groups, an amino acid is classified into four types.

  • Alpha-Amino acid
  • Beta-Amino acid
  • Gamma-Amino acid
  • Delta Amino acid

Alpha-Amino Acid

  • Alpha-Amino acid is the amino acid having an amine group attached to the alpha carbon atom, i.e. next to the carbonyl group.
  • The general formula of an alpha-amino acid is H2NCHRCOOH, where R is an organic side chain.
  • Glycine and Alanine are examples of alpha-amino acid.

Beta-Amino Acid

  • Beta-Amino acid is the amino acid having an amine group attached to the beta-carbon atom to a carboxylic acid group.
  • The general formula of a beta-amino acid is H2NCH2CH2COOH, where R is an organic side chain.
  • Lysine and Arginine are examples of beta-amino acid.

Gamma-Amino Acid

  • Gamma-Amino acid is the amino acid having an amine group attached to the gamma carbon atom to a carboxylic acid group.
  • The general formula of a gamma-amino acid is C4H9NO2.
  • 2-aminoisobutyric acid and Aminobutyric acid are examples of gamma-amino acid.

Delta-Amino Acid

  • Delta-Amino acid is the amino acid having an amine group attached to the delta carbon atom to a carboxylic acid group.
  • The general formula of a delta-amino acid is C5H12NO2+.

Based on the location of the amine group in Fischer projection, an amino acid is classified into two types.

  • L-Amino acid
  • D-Amino acid

L-Amino acid

  • When drawn by the Fischer projection, L-Amino acid has an amine group on the left-hand side, keeping the carboxylic acid group on top and the carbon chain on the bottom.
  • They are levorotatory, i.e. rotates the plane-polarised light in the clockwise direction. They are superseded by R notation and are used by cells to synthesise proteins.

D-Amino acid

  • When drawn by the Fischer projection, D-Amino acid has an amine group on the right-hand side, keeping the carboxylic acid group on top and the carbon chain on the bottom.
  • They are dextrorotatory, i.e. rotates the plane-polarised light in the anti-clockwise direction. They are superseded by S notation and are found in bacteria’s cell walls.

Based on their production in the body, we can classify amino acids into two types.

  • Essential Amino Acid
  • Non-Essential Amino Acid

Essential Amino Acid

Essential Amino Acid is those amino acids that are not synthesised in the body and are taken through diet.

  • They help the body in building and repairing muscle tissue.
  • 9 out of 20 amino acids are considered to be essential amino acids.
  • It plays a vital role in transmitting information to the brain.

Histidine, Leucine, lysine, Threonine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, and Valine are essential amino acids.

Non-Essential Amino Acid

Non-Essential Amino Acid is those amino acids synthesised in the body and are not required through diet.

  • It plays a vital role in removing toxins, synthesising WBC and RBC and promoting brain functioning.
  • 11 out of 20 amino acids are considered to be non-essential amino acids.
  • Alanine, Arginine, Asparagine, Aspartic Acid, Cysteine, Glutamic Acid, Glutamine, Glycine, Proline, Serine, and Tyrosine are examples of essential amino acids.

Functions of Amino Acid

  • Amino acids help in removing toxins from the body.
  • They help in protein synthesis and growth hormones.
  • They help in the production of glucose.
  • They help in regulating the sleep cycle.
  • The deficiency of amino acids can cause insomnia, depression, appetite loss, edema, headache and anaemia.

Frequently Asked Questions on Amino Acid Chain

What is an amino acid?

Amino acids are organic compounds containing two functional groups, i.e. amino (−NH3+) and carboxylate (−COO−) and an organic side chain. Twenty different amino acids are used to build a protein. Protein may contain one or more chains of amino acids named polypeptides. The amino acid chain sequence causes the polypeptide to fold into a biologically active shape.

What are essential amino acids?

Essential Amino Acid is those amino acids that are not synthesised in the body and are taken through diet. They help the body in building and repairing muscle tissue. 9 out of 20 amino acids are considered to be essential amino acids. It plays a vital role in transmitting information to the brain.

Histidine, Leucine, lysine, Threonine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Tryptophan, Phenylalanine, and Valine are essential amino acids.

What are the functions of amino acids?

  • Amino acids help in removing toxins from the body.
  • They help in protein synthesis and growth hormones.
  • They help in the production of glucose.
  • They help in regulating the sleep cycle.
  • The deficiency of amino acids can cause insomnia, depression, appetite loss, edema, headache and anaemia.

What is an alpha-amino acid?

Alpha-Amino acid is the amino acid having an amine group attached to the alpha carbon atom, i.e. next to the carbonyl group.

The general formula of an alpha-amino acid is H2NCHRCOOH, where R is an organic side chain.

Glycine and Alanine are examples of alpha-amino acid.

What is an L-amino acid?

When drawn by the Fischer projection, L-Amino acid has an amine group on the left-hand side, keeping the carboxylic acid group on top and the carbon chain on the bottom.

They are levorotatory, i.e. rotates the plane-polarised light in the clockwise direction. They are superseded by R notation and are used by cells to synthesise proteins.

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