Amino Acids Amino acids can get a little challenging to learn as there are many different structures of different amino acids. Then they have 3-letter and 1-letter symbols that you need to remember. What's even more confusing is that they are classified in many different types of ways! Let's make things a little simpler: What they are? Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They are molecules that possess both amino group and carboxylic group . Their Many Classifications: Based on position of amino group: Amino acids can be classified into , , , and so on... depending upon the position of amino group.
Based on acidic or basic nature: Amino acids are classified into acidic, basic and neutral depending upon the relative number of carboxyl and amino groups.
Neutral amino acid: number of amino groups = number of carboxyl groups
Acidic amino acid: number of amino groups < number of carboxyl groups
Basic amino acid: number of amino groups > number of carboxyl groups
Based on synthesis in the body:
Amino acids that can be synthesised in the body are known as nonessential amino acids.
Those that cannot be synthesised in the body and must be obtained through diet, are known as essential amino acids.Naming Amino Acids:
Generally, amino acids have trivial names that are based on their properties. Glycine is one example. It is named Glycine from the Greek term Glykos which means sweet, as it has a sweet taste (Glykos means sweet in Greek). Amino acids are also represented using 3-letter and 1-letter symbols.
3-letter symbols: The three 3-letter symbols are obtained from the first three letters of the name of the amino acids. Just remember these four exceptions: Asparagine (Asn), Glutamine (Gln), Isoleucine (Ile), Tryptophan (Trp)
1-letter symbols: The 1-letter symbols are the first letters of the name of the amino acids. Just remember these nine exceptions: Arginine (R), Asparagine (N), Aspartic acid (D), Glutamic acid (E), Glutamine (Q), Lysine (K), Phenylalanine (F), Tryptophan (W), and Tyrosine (Y).