CHMA11H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 37: Alpha And Beta Carbon, Zwitterion, Ammonia

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CHMA11 Lecture 34: Intro to Proteins
- Proteins: major workhorse in cells with variety of different functions
o Central to cell functioning
o Composed of monomer subunits called amino acids
Amino Acids: building blocks of proteins
All amino acids are composed of the same key components
o Alpha carbon: central carbon atom
Connected to the other 4 key components of
amino acids
Carboxyl Group: COOH group attached to
the alpha carbon
o Acidic portion of the amino acid
Amine Group: NH2 group attached to the
alpha carbon as well
o Basic portion of the amino acid
R Group: unique group that defines the
amino acid
o Also defines the protein as a whole
and all its properties
Chemical properties
o Colorless, crystalline solids with high melting points
o Moderately soluble in water
How to amino acids naturally exist
o Depend on the side chain properties as well as the pH in
the solution
Different functionality based on the pH
Low pH: amino acid will pick up excess
protons to convert the NH2 group to NH3+
High pH: loses protons from the carboxyl
and amine groups
o Amino acid will form anion
Intermediate pH: protons are lost by the
carboxyl but retained by the amine
o Forms zwitterion: dipolar ion due to
the negative carboxyl group missing
a proton and the positive amine
group that gains the proton
Will make the amino acid
very polar and water soluble
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