Amino Acids and Proteins: How to draw Alpha Amino Acids and Primary Structure of Proteins

Alpha Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.

The structure of the alpha amino acid that we need to know in A Level Chemistry is as shown:

alpha amino acid general structure

We can remember the structure of alpha amino acid by these 3 positions:

1. amine group -NH2

2. alpha carbon with a R group

3. acid group -COOH

Different amino acids have the same basic structure and only differ in the R group.

Hence it is important for us to identify the R group so that we can identify the amino acid.

Primary Structure of Proteins

The unique sequence of amino acids linked via peptide bonds to form a polypeptide chain will give the primary structure of proteins.

The structure of proteins is also in a standard format which is very similar to that of the amino acid:

amino acid protein general structure

So if we have a tripeptide -Asp-Ser-Val- to draw, we simply duplicate the structure 3 times and substitute each R group with the R group of the respective amino acid.

tripeptide Asp-Ser-Val

Learn how to draw alpha amino acids and primary structure of proteins in this video lesson!

Topic: Nitrogen Compounds, Organic Chemistry, JC, H2, A Level Chemistry, Singapore

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