Amino Acid Side Chains: Where the Action is! The amino acids are classified according to the chemical character of the R-group attached to the -carbon
Important Criteria: Polar or Nonpolar side chains Acidic or Basic Charged or uncharged Polar residues Side Chain Classification
1. Nonpolar (hydrophobic) Amino Acids G, A, V, L, I, P, F, W, M These amino acids have aliphatic side chains
Phenylalanine and Tryptophan are aromatic Proline is cyclic
Induces turns in proteins Side Chain Classification 2. Polar, Uncharged Amino Acids
S, T, Y, C, N, Q S, T, Y have hydroxyl groups (-OH)
C has a sulfhydryl (-SH) N and Q have amide side chains Uncharged at neutral pH
Side Chain Classification 3. Acidic Amino Acids D and E have carboxylic acids on their side chains The side chains are negatively charged at neutral
pH This means the pKas of the side chains are less than 7 Side Chain Classification
4. Basic Amino Acids H, K and R have side chains that are positively charged at neutral pH Because these side chains have basic groups, they
accept protons at pH values lower than the pKa of the side chain But Dr. Hurlbert, there are so many, theyre like Pokemon and I hate Pokemon. Sorry, you still gotta catch em all. At the very least you MUST know S, C, D, E, H, K, R
Why? Because they do things, the rest dont. Fig 3.4 Reproduced from: Biochemistry by T.A. Brown, ISBN: 9781907904288 Scion Publishing Ltd, 2017
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