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Amino Acid Characteristics

SIPP.org compiled the information in this table - OSU General Biology reformated the information and takes no credit for the content or association with SIPP.org.
Name
(abreviations)
mRNA
Codon
Description
Crystal Image
Molecular Structure
Cytosine families
Proline
(Pro, P)
CCC CCU CCA CCG
Major constituent of collagen, the main fibrous protein found in bone, cartilage and other connective tissue. Used in the maintenance and repair of joints and tendons.

Leucine
(Leu, L)

CUC CUU CUA CUG
It is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue, and promotes wound healing of skin and bone.

Histidine
(His, H)

CAC CAU
Important in production of red and white blood cells, abundant in hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying protein of red blood cells. Effective in treating allergic diseases.
Glutamine
(Gln, Q)
CAA CAG
Readily passing through the blood brain barrier, it picks up ammonia in the central nervous system and delivers it to kidneys for deanimation. Used to protect against the poisonous effects of alcohol. Also found in the intestinal tract. Used in the treatment of schizophrenia and senility.
Arginine
(Arg, R)
CGC CGU CGA CGG
Stimulates the immune system, promotes wound healing, and blocks formation of tumors. Stimulates the release of growth hormones from the Anterior Pituitary gland. Increases spermatogenesis in gonads. Also promotes detoxification of ammonia and liver regeneration.
Uracil / Thymine families
Serine
(Ser, S)
UCC UCU UCA UCG
Assist in the manufacture of the organic acid Creatine. Found in blood, muscle, and brain tissue. Used as an energy source for muscle contraction. Participant in purine, pyrimidine and porphyrin biosynthesis. Also a natural moisturizing agent used in cosmetics.
Phenylalanine
(Phe, F)
UUC UUU
Used by the brain as a natural precursor to the manufacture of norepinephrine and other neurotransmitters. It enhances learning, alertness and memory. Also used in the treatment of depression, and the 'D' form Phenylalanine acts as a pain killer. Nutritional conflicts may occur unless kept in balance with other amino acids through dietary intake.
Leucine
(Leu, L)
UUA UUG
Must be kept in balance with other amino acids through dietary intake, or nutritional conflicts may occur. Useful in lowering blood sugar levels. It is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue, and promotes wound healing of skin and bone.

Tyrosine
(Tyr, T)

UAC UAU
Direct precursor of adrenaline and thyroid hormones. It helps control depressions and anxiety, and acts as a growth hormone stimulant. Plays an intermediary role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter Norepinephrine from Phenylalanine. Considered an antioxidant and appetite suppressant.
Stop Codons
(X)
UAA UAG
These codons "tell" translation to stop and the polypeptide to release from the ribosome.
-
Cysteine
(Cys, C)
UGC UGU
Used to stimulate white blood cell activity in the immune system. Essential for the formation of skin, and promotes healing from cuts and burns, effective antioxidant. It is the only Amino acid to form the connections of the protein folding process.
Stop codon
or
Selenocysteine
UGA
Normally UGA is stop codon, but the proteins that use UGA for selenocysteine usually have mRNA with significant secondary structure around the UGA. This may cause the ribosome to not recognize the UGA as a stop codon, allowing the selenocysteinyl-tRNA to incorporate the amino acid at that point.
Tryptophan
(Trp, W)
UGG
Found in blood serum, gastric mucous membranes and especially in brain tissue, a precursor to Serotonin and used as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Stimulates the smooth muscles, transmission of impulses between nerve cells, and in the regulation of cyclic body processes. Used in treatment of migraine headaches, insomnia and some types of depression. A balance must be maintained with other amino acids through dietary intake, or nutritional conflicts can occur.
Adenine families
Threonine
(Thr, T)
ACC ACU ACA ACG
In the liver, it acts as a lipotropic agent to help prevent fatty build ups. An important constituent of collagen, elastin and enamel proteins. Must be kept in balance with other amino acids through dietary intake, or nutritional conflicts may occur.
Isoleucine
(Ile, I)
AUC AUU AUA
It is found in high concentrations in muscle tissue. Since the only source is through dietary intake, it must be kept in balance proportion with other amino acids, or nutritional conflicts may occur.
Methionine
(Met, M)
AUG
Functions as a antioxidant and neutralizes toxins. Helps guard against disorders of the skin and nails, prevents hair loss, and curbs accumulations of fat in the liver.
Asparagine
(Asn, N)
AAC AAU
Participates in the metabolic control of cells functions in the brain and nervous system, thus used in treatment of brain and nervous system disorders.
Lysine
(Lys, K)
AAA AAG
Assures adequate absorption of the mineral calcium, and assists in promoting bone growth. Helps to form collagen, the fibrous protein constituent of bones, cartilage, tendons, and other connective tissues. Also used in treatment of Herpes Simplex. Must be kept in balance with other amino acids through dietary intake, or nutritional conflicts may occur.
Serine
(Ser, S)
AGC AGU
Assist in the manufacture of the organic acid Creatine, found in blood, while also present within muscle and brain tissue as an energy source for muscle contraction. Participant in purine, pyrimidine and porphyrin biosynthesis. Also a natural moisturizing agent used in cosmetics.
Arginine
(Arg, R)
AGA AGG
Stimulates the immune system, promotes wound healing, and blocks formation of tumors. In the Anterior Pituitary gland, causes release of growth hormones. Increases spermatogenesis in sex glands. Also promotes detoxification of ammonia, and is involved in liver regeneration.
Guanine families
Alanine
(Ala, A)
GCC GCU GCA GCG
Used in maintaining blood glucose levels by converting carbohydrates stored in liver and muscle tissue into glucose needed by the body to satisfy its energy needs. Also used as a food seasoning.
Valine
(Val, V)
GUC GUU GUA GUG
Used to treat severe amino acid deficiencies caused by addictions. One of the branched chain amino acids found in high concentration in muscle tissue.
Aspartic Acid
(Asp, D)
GAC GAU
Nitrogen derived from Aspartic Acid is used to form ribonucleotides, precursors to RNA and DNA. Aids in the disposal and detoxification of ammonia in the body. Also increases overall resistance to fatigue.
Glutamic Acid
(Glu, E)
GAA GAG
Approximately 50% of the amino acid composition in the brain is represented by Glu and it's derivatives. Used to transport potassium across the blood brain barrier. This amino acid acts as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, so is essentially fuel for the brain. Also found in stomach.
Glycine
(Gly, G)
GGC GGU GGA GGG
Helps in the formation of the purine skeleton utilized in constructing RNA and DNA strands. Inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Stimulates the release of growth hormone, and aids in synthesis of hemoglobin. Used as food additive for a sweeter taste, is also effective for hyperacidity in the stomach (used in antacids).
SIPP.org compiled the information in this table - OSU General Biology reformated the information and takes no credit for the content or association with SIPP.org.

Oregon State University | College of Science | Biology Program | General Biology | BI 101 | BI 102 | BI 103