Flashcards in Biochemistry-Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins Deck (5)
What are Amino Acids?
Molecules that contain two functional groups: an amino group (-NH2) and a carboxyl group (-COOH)
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.
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.
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.