The Major Functional Groups in an Amino Acid

Identify the major functional groups in an amino acid

  • There are 20 standard amino acids in proteins
  • Among the standard amino acids, 8 are essential (cannot be synthesized in the body and must be supplied on diet) for adults while 10  for children (includes histidine  and  arginine)
  • The L-enantiomer is the naturally occurring form
  • The  major functional groups in amino acids include:
    1. α-amino group – basic (alkaline) group
    2. α-carboxylic group – acidic group

Note: The side chain part of amino acid may contain the above-mentioned functional group or other functional group