Alanine (C₃H₇NO₂)

Alanine (C₃H₇NO₂)

A non-polar amino acid. L and D molecules are mirror images of each other.

Chemistry

Keywords

alanine, Ala, amino acid, protein, peptide, polypeptide, nonpolar side chains, silk, zwitterion, peptide bond, amide bond, amino acid sequence, molecule, chemistry, biochemistry, biology

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Alanine C₃H₇NO₂

Information

Molar mass: 89.09 g/mol

Melting point: 297 °C

Boiling point: 250 °C

Density: 1.424 g/cm³

Properties

Alanine is a colourless, crystalline compound, insoluble in ether, somewhat soluble in alcohol and well soluble in water. It is an amino acid with an apolar side chain. L-alanine is one of the most important amino acids, which is found in almost all proteins. A number of amino acids are substituted alanine derivatives.

Occurrence and production

Alanine is found in large quantities in proteins; silk, for example, contains 25% L-alpha-alanine. In living organisms it is produced in a reaction of lactic acid and ammonia. In laboratories it is produced from alpha-chloropropionic acid and ammonia.

Space-filling

Narration

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Amino acids

Amino acids are the monomers of proteins.

Optical isomerism

Mirror image isomers of asymmetrical shapes and solids are non-superimposable.

Peptide bond

Amino acids that make up proteins are bound by peptide bonds.

Spider silk, spider web

While the density of spider silk is less than that of nylon filaments, its tensile strength is greater than that of steel.

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