Amino-acids are organic acids with an amino group in the alpha position (alpha-acids). They are the structural units of proteins and involved in many biochemical pathways.

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Why 22 amino acids instead of 64?

This question got me thinking about amino acids and the ambiguity in the genetic code. With 4 nucleotides in RNA and 3 per codon, there are 64 codons. However, these 64 codons only code for 22 (...
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Why are amino acids in biology homochiral?

Why are nearly all amino acids in organisms left-handed (exception is glycine which has no isomer) when abiotic samples typical have an even mix of left- and right-handed molecules?
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What is the smallest number of amino acids required for life?

Is there any hypothesis on the minimum number of amino acids required for life?
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What is the prehistory of amino acids in cells?

As a followup to Why 20 amino acids instead of 64? and What is the smallest number of amino acids required for life?, I am trying to understand the prehistory of amino acids in cells. All living ...
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What is the explanation for the smaller number of tRNA than codons?

Translation, or decoding, of the four-nucleotide language of DNA and mRNA into the 20–amino acid language of proteins requires tRNAs and enzymes called aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. To participate ...
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What happens to dextrorotatory amino acids in humans?

As indicated by this question, most of the amino acids in the human body have the L-chirality. As enzymes also have handedness, what happens to the D-amino acids that end up within the human body? Are ...
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Is there any evolutionary advantage of selection of L-amino acid over D-amino acid?

After listening to a scientific talk, I had this question that why in the natural selection process, are the L-amino acids selected over the D- form. However, we still we produce D-amino acids; ...
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How can a three-base codon evolve from a two-base codon?

Inspired by this question among others. It's widely suggested that the current 3-base codon system of encoding protein sequences in DNA evolved from an earlier 2-base codon system. This makes sense ...
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How to compute properties of peptides ?

I have been tasked with writing a program for computing properties of a give set of peptides. These peptides are given as 1-letter amino acid sequences and I need to compute the following : Length ...
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Why are 3 nucleotides used as codons for amino-acid mapping in DNA?

DNA is made of 4 unique nucleotides. When coding for a protein, a sequence of 3 nucleotides is used to code for each amino acid. Why are codons 3 nucleotides in length? A related question can be ...
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Why is leucine amino acid used the most in proteins and tryptophan the least?

The amino acid leucine, is used in proteins more than others. Leucine with 9.1 percent (its average in more than 1.150 different proteins) is used most and tryptophan with 1.4 percent is used less ...
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Histidine aromaticity

I understand that the imidazole ring in histidine is aromatic. I also realize that it retains it's aromaticity when protonated. I am wondering why it is not mentioned at all in basic text books such ...
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Whole genome amino acid composition tool?

I'm interested in a statistical tool to get bacterial codon usage at genomic level. Ideally, the tool should be flexible to analyse hundreds of bacterial genomes. I've looked in MeSH terms database ...
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Are there any effects of elevated Cysteine levels on cognitive function?

I'm looking at this diagram of homocysteine metabolism and see two distinct pathways that the amino acid may get metabolized to: with vitamin B12 it gets converted back into methionine, while with B6 ...
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Is consuming proteins different vs. consuming amino-acids and how?

Yesterday I had a discussion with a friend. He said that consuming proteins and amino-acids is different. He said that those who grow muscles would agree on that. I wanted to argue against that ...
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How many different kinds of polypeptides, each composed of 12 amino acids, could be synthesized using the 20 common amino acids?

How many different kinds of polypeptides, each composed of 12 amino acids, could be synthesized using the 20 common amino acids? The book's answer is $20^{12}$. However, I disagree. This result ...
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Specificity of Protein Kinases in Signaling Pathways..?

In most of the signaling pathways the activated receptor when activates Protein Kinase through the action of secondary messenger, then these protein kinases almost always phosphorylate on the specific ...
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Where can you find the quantities of each amino acid of a particular protein or food?

Taking a potato as an example. If I wanted to know how much µg or % of each of it's amino acids there are in 1 gram of pure potato protein, where can I find this information? Is there a freely ...
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Can proteins move outside cells?

I am trying to learn about basic cell biology, and have what is probably an extremely simple question. So this is how I understand it so far: Proteins are made from amino acids. This process is ...
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Why do asparagine and glutamine have two different abbreviations? [closed]

I'm looking at amino acid abbreviations and on every site I visit, asparagine and glutamine have two different abbreviations. Is there a reason for this? Do they represent different forms of the amino ...
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What are 'acid stable' amino acids?

I tend to see terms amino acid, acid stable amino acid, and free amino acids used often in ...
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Amino acid compatibility

The (human) genetic code encodes 20 amino acids. They form a protein using peptide bonds. Each amino acid has a carboxyl group (COOH) and an amino group (NH2) that can potentially form a peptide bond. ...
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Are There Rules for How Proteins Are Formed?

Proteins are formed by stringing together different amino acids. Different amino acids have different properties (such as being attracted to or repelled by water, positively or negatively charged, ...
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Why don't amino acids get linked in the functional groups of acidic and basic amino acids?

There are 'acidic' and 'basic' amino acids like aspartate and histidine. When protein is synthesized with those amino acids, what ensures that the to-be-assembled amino acids will not bond to the ...
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Why does Glutamine have the symbol Q?

Spent a half hour googling this and the best I could find was this: Now for some rhymes: Arginine = R. R we having fun yet? Asparagine = N The kNights of Ne say "Ne". Glutamine is a cute ...
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What is the last heavy atom of an amino acid?

I'm a electrical engineer and I'm learning about bioinformatics. I was reading this paper that uses the last heavy atom to search for active sites of a protein but what would be a heavy atom? Is it ...
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D/L configuration for amino acids

Why would this be "L-cysteine"? This is taken from the answer key for my biochem final. From what I understand if the -NH3(+) is on the left then the alpha-amino acid is in the L-configuration. ...
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Needleman Algorithm for Optimal Alignment of two Amino Acid Sequences

I want to compute the optimal alignment of two amino acid sequences as per the following definition from a patent: "The percentage of identity between two peptidic or nucleotidic sequences is a ...
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What signals a ribosome to stop production when the cell is out of available amino acids?

In the production of a protein molecule, there have to be a ready supply of free-floating amino acids. When a given codon for adjoining, say, serine comes up, how are the serine molecules found out of ...
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How are amino acids neutral at physiological pH?

Amino acids with non‐ionizable side chains are zwitterions when they are at physiological pH, pH 7.4. This is what my book says. But I do not understand why. The Pka for a carboxyl group is around 3 ...
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How do you calculate or predict the charge of a protein at pH 7?

How do you calculate or predict the charge of a protein at pH 7 given a fasta sequence? Any papers or online servers to do this is well appreciated.
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How does beta branching stop alpha helices from forming?

I am told that beta branching interferes with alpha helix formation. Problem is that I don't see how beta branching has anything to do with alpha-helix formation. Beta-branches are on the outside of ...
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bacterial cell wall degradation in humans

can human degrade the D-amino acid present in bacterial cell wall, I'm confused about it i have read somewhere that human can do so.If yes than why we need antibiotic to kill bacteria???If it is not ...
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Is there a cellular mechanism that detects Ribosomal damage?

What kinds of options, if any, do cells (Eukary and Prokary) have for detecting, and repairing damage in Ribosomes (of all types)? I am curious as to what happens when a cell sustains damage of some ...
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Understanding the Amino Acids

I'm having little trouble studying general relativity or quantum field theory, but remembering all the amino acids and being able to think about them is something that's completely, utterly and ...
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What are the functions of disulphide bonds?

What are the functions of disulphide bonds between amino acids in proteins or peptides?
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Is cysteine deficiency possible?

Is there such a thing as cysteine deficiency in humans or other mammals? What effects would such a deficiency have? As I understand it, most cysteine for humans comes from dietary sources, though it ...
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Are alpha-ketoglutarate and glutamate involved in all transamination reactions?

Is it true that for all biochemical transamination reactions, that alpha-ketoglutarate and glutamate serve as the amino group acceptor and donor, respectively? If this is true, then is it safe to ...
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Determining the appropriate bioconjugate

I'm thinking of crosslinking two proteins. The crystallographic nature of the interaction and the binding motif for each molecule is know. The paper says the intermolecular contacts (over 50; van der ...
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Thermodynamics of Forming Peptide Bonds

Which of the following shows the correct changes in thermodynamic properties for a chemical reaction in which amino acids are linked to form a protein? A) +ΔH, +ΔS, +ΔG B) +ΔH, -ΔS, -ΔG C) +...
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Why do three nucleotides code for one amino acid? Why not 5 nucleotides? [duplicate]

We all know why there are 3-base codons, and why there aren't any 2-base codons. But why is there not a 4-base a 5-base codon?
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Why are VAL, MET and ALA substitutions commonly used for protein behaviour and function studies?

I have seen that amino acids are commonly replaced with VAL, MET or ALA to study the effects of these specific substitutions. Why are these specific amino acids used in particular, what are the ...
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Consequence of Plants as Incomplete Protein Source

Some years ago, in a 1000~ level biology course we learned that the DNA essentially encodes formulas for creating proteins from amino acids. While the human body can synthesize many many amino acids, ...
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Why would the citrulline content of the watermelon be so high?

Citrulline is a non-proteinogenic amino acid (that is, citrulline is an amino acid that is not coded for in mRNA), and it is an important metabolic intermediate in the Urea Cycle. The Urea Cycle is ...
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Edman method to identify peptides with Phenylisothiocyanate (PTH)

We all know that in this method the PTH reacts with the first amino acid (aa) from the N-terminal to the peptide and separates from it giving PTH-aa so that we can know the amino acids sequence in the ...
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Why are Taurine and Arginine essential components of the feline diet?

Taurine and arginine play a key role in the feline diet but I am unaware as to where exactly they fit in.
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What is the role of Homocysteine in cognitive function?

I'm looking at this link : Homocysteine and cognitive impairments and am looking for more information on specific cognitive impairments associated with elevated levels Homocysteine. That article is ...
2
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1answer
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Converting Ensembl Compara gene tree DNA alignment to corresponding amino acid alignment

I have Ensembl compara gene tree alignments (Compara.gene_trees.57.fasta.gz downloaded from ftp://ftp.ensembl.org/pub/release-57/emf/ensembl-compara/homologies/) in nucleotide format. According to ...
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Histidine - why essential for children?

Why is histidine an essential amino acid for children but not for adults ? What changes in the body occur which lead to the formation of histidine in adults but not in children ? What causes these ...
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Protein Design - Target Structure Specification

I'm curious about how protein structures are defined in general, but in particular, I'm wondering how a target structure can be specified without knowing the amino acid sequence. For example, in ...