|Topic:||Occurrence and functions in biochemistry .|
|Details:|| Proteinogenic amino acids
Main article: Proteinogenic amino acids
See also: Protein primary structure and Posttranslational modification
Amino acids are the structural units (monomers) that make up proteins. They join together to form short polymer chains called peptides or longer chains called either polypeptides or proteins. These polymers are linear and unbranched, with each amino acid within the chain attached to two neighboring amino acids. The process of making proteins encoded by DNA/RNA genetic material is called translation and involves the step-by-step addition of amino acids to a growing protein chain by a ribozyme that is called a ribosome. The order in which the amino acids are added is read through the genetic code from an mRNA template, which is a RNA copy of one of the organism's genes.
Twenty-two amino acids are naturally incorporated into polypeptides and are called proteinogenic or natural amino acids. Of these, 20 are encoded by the universal genetic code. The remaining 2, selenocysteine and pyrrolysine, are incorporated into proteins by unique synthetic mechanisms. Selenocysteine is incorporated when the mRNA being translated includes a SECIS element, which causes the UGA codon to encode selenocysteine instead of a stop codon. Pyrrolysine is used by some methanogenic archaea in enzymes that they use to produce methane. It is coded for with the codon UAG, which is normally a stop codon in other organisms. This UAG codon is followed by a PYLIS downstream sequence
Posted by: RDM
2017-09-28 20:54:18 MST
| Non-proteinogenic amino acids
Main article: Non-proteinogenic amino acids
Aside from the 22 proteinogenic amino acids, many non-proteinogenic amino acids are known. Those either are not found in proteins (for example carnitine, GABA, Levothyroxine) or are not produced directly and in isolation by standard cellular machinery (for example, hydroxyproline and selenomethionine).
Non-proteinogenic amino acids that are found in proteins are formed by post-translational modification, which is modification after translation during protein synthesis. These modifications are often essential for the function or regulation of a protein. For example, the carboxylation of glutamate allows for better binding of calcium cations, and collagen contains hydroxyproline, generated by hydroxylation of proline. Another example is the formation of hypusine in the translation initiation factor EIF5A, through modification of a lysine residue. Such modifications can also determine the localization of the protein, e.g., the addition of long hydrophobic groups can cause a protein to bind to a phospholipid membrane.
Some non-proteinogenic amino acids are not found in proteins. Examples include 2-aminoisobutyric acid and the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. Non-proteinogenic amino acids often occur as intermediates in the metabolic pathways for standard amino acids – for example, ornithine and citrulline occur in the urea cycle, part of amino acid catabolism (see below). A rare exception to the dominance of α-amino acids in biology is the β-amino acid beta alanine (3-aminopropanoic acid), which is used in plants and microorganisms in the synthesis of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), a component of coenzyme A
Posted by: RDM
2017-09-28 20:54:34 MST
| D-amino acid natural abundance
D-isomers are uncommon in live organisms. For instance, gramicidin is a polypeptide made up from mixture of D- and L-amino acids. Other compounds containing D-amino acid are tyrocidine and valinomycin. These compounds disrupt bacterial cell walls, particularly in Gram-positive bacteria. Only 837 D-amino acids were found in Swiss-Prot database (187 million amino acids analysed).
Non-standard amino acids
The 20 amino acids that are encoded directly by the codons of the universal genetic code are called standard or canonical amino acids. A modified form of methionine (N-formylmethionine) is often incorporated in place of methionine as the initial amino acid of proteins in bacteria, mitochondria and chloroplasts. Other amino acids are called non-standard or non-canonical. Most of the non-standard amino acids are also non-proteinogenic (i.e. they cannot be incorporated into proteins during translation), but two of them are proteinogenic, as they can be incorporated translationally into proteins by exploiting information not encoded in the universal genetic code.
The two non-standard proteinogenic amino acids are selenocysteine (present in many non-eukaryotes as well as most eukaryotes, but not coded directly by DNA) and pyrrolysine (found only in some archaea and one bacterium). The incorporation of these non-standard amino acids is rare. For example, 25 human proteins include selenocysteine (Sec) in their primary structure, and the structurally characterized enzymes (selenoenzymes) employ Sec as the catalytic moiety in their active sites. Pyrrolysine and selenocysteine are encoded via variant codons. For example, selenocysteine is encoded by stop codon and SECIS element
Posted by: RDM
2017-09-28 20:55:00 MST
| In human nutrition
Diagram showing the relative occurrence of different amino acids in blood serum as obtained from different diets
Share of amino acid in different human diets and the resulting mix of amino acids in human blood serum. Glutamate and glutamine are the most frequent in food at over 10%, while alanine, glutamine, and glycine are the most common in blood.
Main article: Essential amino acids
Further information: Protein (nutrient) and Amino acid synthesis
When taken up into the human body from the diet, the 20 standard amino acids either are used to synthesize proteins and other biomolecules or are oxidized to urea and carbon dioxide as a source of energy. The oxidation pathway starts with the removal of the amino group by a transaminase; the amino group is then fed into the urea cycle. The other product of transamidation is a keto acid that enters the citric acid cycle. Glucogenic amino acids can also be converted into glucose, through gluconeogenesis. Of the 20 standard amino acids, nine (His, Ile, Leu, Lys, Met, Phe, Thr, Trp and Val) are called essential amino acids because the human body cannot synthesize them from other compounds at the level needed for normal growth, so they must be obtained from food. In addition, cysteine, taurine, tyrosine, and arginine are considered semiessential amino-acids in children (though taurine is not technically an amino acid), because the metabolic pathways that synthesize these amino acids are not fully developed. The amounts required also depend on the age and health of the individual, so it is hard to make general statements about the dietary requirement for some amino acids. Dietary exposure to the non-standard amino acid BMAA has been linked to human neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS.
Posted by: RDM
2017-09-28 20:55:17 MST
| Non-protein functions
Further information: Amino acid neurotransmitter
Biosynthetic pathways for catecholamines and trace amines in the human brain
Graphic of catecholamine and trace amine biosynthesis
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Catecholamines and trace amines are synthesized from phenylalanine and tyrosine in humans.
In humans, non-protein amino acids also have important roles as metabolic intermediates, such as in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA). Many amino acids are used to synthesize other molecules, for example:
Tryptophan is a precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Tyrosine (and its precursor phenylalanine) are precursors of the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine and various trace amines.
Phenylalanine is a precursor of phenethylamine and tyrosine in humans. In plants, it is a precursor of various phenylpropanoids, which are important in plant metabolism.
Glycine is a precursor of porphyrins such as heme.
Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide.
Ornithine and S-adenosylmethionine are precursors of polyamines.
Aspartate, glycine, and glutamine are precursors of nucleotides. However, not all of the functions of other abundant non-standard amino acids are known.
Some non-standard amino acids are used as defenses against herbivores in plants. For example, canavanine is an analogue of arginine that is found in many legumes, and in particularly large amounts in Canavalia gladiata (sword bean). This amino acid protects the plants from predators such as insects and can cause illness in people if some types of legumes are eaten without processing. The non-protein amino acid mimosine is found in other species of legume, in particular Leucaena leucocephala. This compound is an analogue of tyrosine and can poison animals that graze on these plants.
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