A non-polar amino acid. L and D molecules are mirror images of each other.
alanine, Ala, amino acid, protein, peptide, polypeptide, nonpolar side chains, silk, zwitterion, peptide bond, amide bond, amino acid sequence, molecule, chemistry, biochemistry, biology
Molar mass: 89.09 g/mol
Melting point: 297 °C
Boiling point: 250 °C
Density: 1.424 g/cm³
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.
Amino acids are the monomers of proteins.
Mirror image isomers of asymmetrical shapes and solids are non-superimposable.
Amino acids that make up proteins are bound by peptide bonds.
While the density of spider silk is less than that of nylon filaments, its tensile strength is greater than that of steel.