One of the twenty protein-building amino acids.
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Aspartic acid (C₄H₇NO₄)
Molar mass: 133.10 g/mol
Melting point: 270 °C
Boiling point: 324 °C
Density: 1.7 g/cm³
Aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid. It is a colourless, crystalline substance that dissolves weakly in water and does not dissolve in alcohol.
Occurrence and production
Aspartic acid is the building block of many types of proteins: it is found in zein, that is, maize protein; in casein, the protein in cow’s milk; and in wool keratine. Biosynthesis of aspartic acid proceeds from oxaloacetic acid.
Aspartic acid is a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system of vertebrates. It is also used in the treatment of leukaemia.