Aspartic acid is also called as aspartate amino acids that needed for the biosynthesis of proteins. It is one of the two acidic amino acids. It consists a α-carboxylic acid group, α-amino groups, and CH2 COOH side chain.
It was first discovered by Auguste – Arthur Plisson and Ossian Henry in the year 1827. It was derived by boiling the base of asparagus juice.
Aspartic acid is available in two forms namely D-aspartic acid and L-aspartic acid. L-aspartic acid can be directly injected into proteins whereas D-aspartic acid has limited biological roles. These prepared by enzymatic synthesis or chemical synthesis. DL- aspartic acid can also be prepared and it known as a racemic mixture.
Aspartate is not essential for mammals as it is being produced from oxaloacetate. It is also produced from citrulline and ornithine in the urea cycle. In microorganisms and plants, aspartate is the precursor to many essential amino acids like threonine, methionine, lysine, and isoleucine. Aspartate is the source for asparagine which is derived via transamidation. This can be expressed as
-O2CCH(NH2)CH2CO2– + GC(O)NH3+ O2CCH(NH2)CH2CONH3+ + GC(O)O
Aspartate is a metabolite in the urea cycle and participates actively in gluconeogenesis. It carries equivalents which are useful for interconversion of oxaloacetate and aspartate.
Aspartate also helps in stimulation of NMDA receptors weakly. It is not as strong as the amino acid L-glutamate amino acid.
It can be synthesized by human beings through the metabolic process and hence it is not an essential acid. It is present in:
- Vegetable sources: oat flakes, sprouting seeds, asparagus, avocado, sugar beets, and molasses.
- Animal sources: luncheon meats, wild game, oysters, sausage meat and much more.
- Dietary supplements
- The sweetener aspartame ( Canderel and Nutrasweet)
This acid can be chemically synthesized. Racemic aspartic acid can be chemically produced from diethyl sodium phthalimide malonate.