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Overview
· Amino acids form the building blocks for peptides and
proteins, which in turn can be enzymes, hormones and
antibodies
· There are 20 different AA's which assemble into many
proteins
· Due to the amine and carboxylic acid groups AA's are
soluble in both acids and bases
· The `R' group can be -OH,
-SH, -COOH, -NH2 or H (glycine)
· General formula of AA's…read more

Slide 3

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Zwitterions
· The amine and carboxylic acid groups can react
together to form a salt called a zwitterion
· A proton is transferred from the COOH to the NH2
· Zwitterions have no overall charge as the COO- and NH3+
cancel each other out…read more

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Properties of Amino Acids
· The Isoelectric point is the pH value at which an AA exists
as a zwitterion
· AA's can act as buffers due to their zwitterions
· They minimise changes to pH by accepting protons at
low pHs and donating protons at higher pHs…read more

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Condensation of Amino
Acids
· AA's join together by peptide linkages forming peptides
· When two AA's take part in a condensation reaction,
they eliminte a molecule of H2O and form a dipeptide
(two AA's)
· If many AA's condensate, a
polypeptide will form
· It is possible to form two
different dipeptides from the
same two AA's…read more

Slide 6

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Acid Hydrolysis of
polypeptides
· Polypeptides and proteins can be broken down in the
presence of H+ ions (acid), and requires a molecule of
H2O for every peptide bond
· Due to the acidic conditions, the product AA's formed
are cations and contain the NH3+ group
· Conditions: Heat, under reflux, with 6 mol dm-3 HCl…read more

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