Updated: 1/1/2020

Amino Acids

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Amino Acids
  •  Structure
    • carbon attached to carboxyl group + amino group + "R" group
      • "R" group gives each of the 20 amino acids its unique properties
      • only L-form amino acids (AA) are found in proteins
  • Properties
    • hydrophobicity
      • allow for protein folding such that hydrophilic AAs face externally and hydrophobic AAs face internally
      • hydrophobic AAs have aliphatic or aromatic R-groups
      • hydrophilic AAs have oxygen or nitrogens in R-group
    • pH
      • acidic AAs are negatively charged at body pH
        • Asp, Glu
      • basic AAs are positively charged at body pH
        • Arg, His, Lys
    • essential/non-essential
      • essential AAs must be part of the diet
        • remember: PVT TIM HALL (Phe/Val/Thr/Trp/Ile/Met/His/Arg*/Lys/Leu)
          • *is essential under times of stress/demand
            • pregnancy
            • growth during childhood and adolescence
            • illness
    • catabolic product
      • glucogenic AAs can become glucose
        • Met, Val, Arg, His
      • ketogenic AAs can become ketone bodies
        • Leu, Lys
      • some AAs can become both ketone bodies or glucose
        • Ile, Phe, Thr, Trp
Amino Acid Derivatives
  • Tyrosine
    • thyroid hormones (T3/T4)
    • melanin
      • deficiency
        • albinism 
          • cause
            • defective tyrosinase
              • inability to synthesize melanin from tyrosine
            • defective tyrosine transporters
              • ↓ amounts of tyrosine and thus melanin
            • lack of migration of neural crest cells forming melanocytes
          • presentation
            • lack of melanin ↑ risk of skin cancer
          • genetics
            • AR
            • locus heterogeneity can result in variable inheritance
            • XR for ocular albinism
    • catecholamines
      • pathway see above
  • Tryptophan
    • NAD, NADP (niacin)
    • serotonin
  • Histidine
    • histamine
  • Arginine
    • nitric oxide (NO)
  • Glutamate
    • GABA
  • Glycine
    • protoprophyrin → heme

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