Biochemistry-Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins Flashcards Preview

My MCAT Study > Biochemistry-Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins > Flashcards

Flashcards in Biochemistry-Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins Deck (5)
1

What are Amino Acids?

Molecules that contain two functional groups: an amino group (-NH2) and a carboxyl group (-COOH)

2

What are alpha-amino acids?

The amino groups and the carboxyl group are bonded to the same carbon, the alpha-carbon of the carboxylic acid. Think of the alpha-carbon as the central carbon of the amino acid.

3

In addition ot the carboxyl group, what else is attached to the alpha carbon?

A hydrogen atom, and a side chain, also called an R group, which is specific to each amino acid. The side chains determine the properties of amino acids, and therefore their functions.

4

The alpha-carbon is what type of center? Thus the amino-acids are _____?

A chiral center as it has four different groups attached to it. Thus most amino acids are optically active.

5

What is one exception to the amino acids being optically active?

Glycine, which has a hydrogen atom as it R group. Making it achiral