List of amino acids
| One of our pieces on|
|Life as we know it|
|Divide and multiply|
Amino acids are molecules that consist of atoms forming two specific functional groups (amines and carboxylic acids). There are potentially thousands of amino acids, but the most important (at least to humans) are the twenty of them that are coded for by our DNA and make up the proteins in our bodies.
The 20 amino acids coded for in human DNA
|Amino Acid||Nucleotide Sequence(s)||Essential?a||Chiral?b|
|Alanine||GCU, GCC, GCA, GCG||No||Yes|
|Arginine||CGU, CGC, CGA, CGG, AGA, AGG||No if you're an adult||Yes|
|Aspartic acid||GAU, GAC||No||Yes|
|Cysteine||UGU, UGC||Sort of[note 1]||Yes|
|Glutamic acid||GAA, GAG||No||Yes|
|Glycine||GGU, GGC, GGA, GGG||No||No|
|Isoleucine||AUU, AUC, AUA||Yes||Yes|
|Leucine||UUA, UUG, CUU, CUC, CUA, CUG||Yes||Yes|
|Proline||CCU, CCC, CCA, CCG||No||Yes|
|Serine||UCU, UCC, UCA, UCG, AGC, AGU||No||Yes|
|Threonine||ACU, ACC, ACA, ACG||Yes||Yes|
|Valine||GUU, GUC, GUA, GUG||Yes||Yes|
a Essential in this context means that the amino acids must be consumed as part of the human diet, they cannot be made (in humans) by converting one amino acid into another.
b Posh word for "looks like a pair of gloves" (chiral molecules are like gloves in that they are made from all the same parts, but are mirror images of each other)
2 special amino acids
|Amino Acid||Nucleotide Sequence||Essential?||Chiral?|
- List of names found here
- Amino acid
- Cysteine can be essential in rare cases, but is usually not.
- Selenocysteine is produced in humans. Normally, UGA means "stop", but through a complicated process, it will code for selenocysteine.
- No, this isn't a mistake. Pyrrolysine is used in bacteria, not humans, where it is coded for using UAG.