Amino Acid Metabolism: Introduction

by Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    00:01 In this set of lectures, I will describe the most diverse set of metabolic processes that occur that of amino acid metabolism.

    00:09 Now to review for just a second, we remember that amino acids are essential for making proteins and that there are 20 common amino acids that are found in all proteins plus an occasional rare one that I will also describe here.

    00:22 The structure of amino acids can all be schematically drawn as we see in the figure on the right.

    00:27 There's a central alpha carbon that's found and every amino acid has all of these structures that we see here.

    00:33 Above it is the hydrogen.

    00:34 To the right, an alpha carboxyl group.

    00:37 Beneath it, an alpha amine.

    00:38 And to the left, an R group, the part of the amino acid that gives every amino acids its characteristics: structure, function and chemistry.

    00:47 There's no single pathway for amino acid metabolism, which distinguishes it from some of the other metabolic processes that happen in cells.

    00:54 The synthesis pathways for amino acids are actually grouped according to common anabolic precursors that they all have.

    01:00 There's a family known as the alpha-ketoglutarate family, a serine family, aspartate acid family, aromatic amino acid family, a pyruvate family, and finally the most complicated pathway, the histidine pathway.

    01:14 Now in addition to talking about amino acid metabolism, I will discuss post-translational modification.

    01:19 So these are chemical changes that are made to amino acids after they've been built into a protein.

    01:25 When we talk about amino acids, we hear the term essential and I want to define what that is.

    01:30 So essential amino acids are amino acids that an organism must have in their diet.

    01:35 They can't synthesize those.

    01:37 Where by contrast, the non-essential amino acids are ones that can be made by an organism.

    01:43 Essential versus non-essential varies in humans, and it also varies from one organism to another and also between child and adult.

    01:50 So they're not an absolute list.

    01:53 One list of essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids for humans is shown here.

    01:58 We say for example the ones that have aromatic rings like tryptophan and phenylalanine, we will later discover have common metabolic pathways.

    02:06 The tyrosine amino acid which is also an aromatic amino acid can be made from phenylalanine.

    02:11 So is tyrosine essential or not essential? Well, if phenylalanine is in the diet, it's not essential.

    02:16 If it's not in the diet, it becomes essential.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Amino Acid Metabolism: Introduction by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course Amino Acid Metabolism.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Glutamate
    2. Histidine
    3. Serine
    4. Aromatic
    5. Pyruvate
    1. In an organism’s diet
    2. Synthesized by an organism
    3. In the ribosome
    4. In the endoplasmic reticulum
    5. In the nucleus

    Author of lecture Amino Acid Metabolism: Introduction

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    By Neuer N. on 10. March 2018 for Amino Acid Metabolism: Introduction


    it was very good lecture it will help me in my med biochem class thanku
    By Priyank Y. on 23. February 2017 for Amino Acid Metabolism: Introduction

    it was very good lecture it will help me in my med biochem class thanku