Image above: CPK (Space Filled Model) of the Alanine Molecule
Alanine (abbreviated as Ala or A; encoded by the codons GCU, GCC, GCA, and GCG) is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains an α-amino group (which is in the protonated −NH3+ form under biological conditions), an α-carboxylic acid group (which is in the deprotonated −COO− form under biological conditions), and a side chain methyl group, classifying it as a nonpolar (at physiological pH), aliphatic amino acid. It is non-essential in humans, meaning the body can synthesize it.
For 3-D Structure of the Alanine Molecule using Jsmol Click here
Symbol: Ala A
Molecular Weight: 89.09
Isolectric point (pH) 6.0
Molecular Formula: C 3H7NO2
The α-carbon atom of the alanine molecule is bound to a methyl group (-CH3), making it one of the simplest α-amino acids and also results in alanine's classification as an aliphatic amino acid. The methyl group of alanine is non-reactive and is thus almost never directly involved in protein function.
Alanine is an amino acid molecule that cannot be phosphorylated, making it quite useful in a loss of function experiment with respect to phosphorylation.
Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is
involved in the metabolism of tryptophan and the
vitamin pyridoxine. It is one of the most widely
used amino acids in protein construction, averaging
about 9 percent of average protein composition.
Alanine is found in prostate fluid, and may play
an important role in prostate health. Sources of
alanine are meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products,