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Amino Acids

by Kevin Ahern, PhD
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    Proteins are part and parcel of what makes life possible. The diversity of the building blocks of proteins compared to other macromolecules give proteins a rich and diverse array of functions. In this lecture I will talk about proteins starting with the building blocks, the amino acids that make them up and divide them into various groups, essential or nonessential depending upon whether or not they can be made by the organism. I'll discuss the basic structure and stereochemistry of each amino acid and how the side chains of each amino acid give it the individual characteristics that it have. Last I'll give the properties and talk about the ionization of the amino acids found in proteins. Proteins, we can describe as the workhorses of the South. They perform all the essential functions that cells need to stay alive. These include catalysis, catalyzing of the reactions that happen, signaling the process whereby cells and part of an organism can communicate with cells in another part of the organism. The structure of proteins such as the fibrous proteins found in our hair and our nails arises from interesting features within individual protein molecules. Last, proteins are very important for the generation, creation and storage of energy. All proteins on earth are comprised of about 20 amino acids. The 20 amino acids are most commonly found in every organism on earth. A 21st amino acid known as Selenocysteine, in some cases found in a few rare proteins. Amino acids can be divided into various categories, one of the categorization schemes is divide amino acids into essential and nonessential groups, depending upon whether or not the organism can synthesize the amino acid within its cells. Essential amino acids are those amino acids that the cell needs to have in its diet because it...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Amino Acids by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course Biochemistry: Basics. It contains the following chapters:

    • Structure of Amino Acids
    • R-Group Categories
    • Hydrophobic R-Groups
    • Hydrophilic & Ionic R-Groups
    • Ionization

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. ...amino acids.
    2. ...nucleotides.
    3. ...carbohydrates.
    4. ...fatty acids.
    1. ...ones we must have in our diet.
    2. ...ones our bodies must make
    3. ...ones our essential organs produce
    4. ...one that are essentially in abundance
    1. The alpha carbon has a double bond with an oxygen atom.
    2. They all have a carboxyl group.
    3. They all have an R group.
    4. They are the only ones found in our proteins.
    1. ...only cysteine contains a sulfhydryl group.
    2. ...only tyrosine lacks an aromatic ring.
    3. ...only serine contains a sulfhydryl group.
    4. ...only threonine lacks a hydroxyl group.
    1. It is a zwitterion.
    2. It is neutralized.
    3. It is fully protonated.
    4. It is fully deprotonated.

    Author of lecture Amino Acids

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD


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