L-Alanine 98% (25gr)
Alanine (symbol Ala or A) is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains an amine group and a carboxylic acid group, both attached to the central carbon atom which also carries a methyl group side chain. Consequently, its IUPAC systematic name is 2-aminopropanoic acid, and it is classified as a nonpolar, aliphatic α-amino acid. Under biological conditions, it exists in its zwitterionic form with its amine group protonated (as −NH3+) and its carboxyl group deprotonated (as −CO2−). It is non-essential to humans as it can be synthesised metabolically and does not need to be present in the diet. It is encoded by all codons starting with GC (GCU, GCC, GCA, and GCG).
The L–isomer of alanine (left-handed) is the one that is incorporated into proteins. L-alanine is second only to leucine in rate of occurrence, accounting for 7.8% of the primary structure in a sample of 1,150 proteins. The right-handed form, D-alanine, occurs in polypeptides in some bacterial cell walls: 131 and in some peptide antibiotics, and occurs in the tissues of many crustaceans and molluscs as an osmolyte.
History and etymology
Alanine was first synthesized in 1850 when Adolph Strecker combined acetaldehyde and ammonia with hydrogen cyanide. The amino acid was named Alanin in German, in reference to aldehyde, with the infix -an- for ease of pronunciation, the German ending -in used in chemical compounds being analogous to English -ine.
Alanine is an aliphatic amino acid, because the side-chain connected to the α-carbon atom is a methyl group (-CH3); alanine is the simplest α-amino acid after glycine. The methyl side-chain of alanine is non-reactive and is therefore hardly ever directly involved in protein function. Alanine is a nonessential amino acid, meaning it can be manufactured by the human body, and does not need to be obtained through the diet. Alanine is found in a wide variety of foods, but is particularly concentrated in meats.
Alanine is useful in loss of function experiments with respect to phosphorylation. Some techniques involve creating a library of genes, each of which has a point mutation at a different position in the area of interest, sometimes even every position in the whole gene: this is called “scanning mutagenesis”. The simplest method, and the first to have been used, is so-called alanine scanning, where every position in turn is mutated to alanine.
The deamination of an alanine molecule produces the free radical CH3C•HCO2−. Deamination can be induced in solid or aqueous alanine by radiation that causes homolytic cleavage of the carbon–nitrogen bond.
This property of alanine is used in dosimetric measurements in radiotherapy. When normal alanine is irradiated, the radiation causes certain alanine molecules to become free radicals, and, as these radicals are stable, the free radical content can later be measured by electron paramagnetic resonance in order to find out how much radiation the alanine was exposed to. This is considered to be a biologically relevant measure of the amount of radiation damage that living tissue would suffer under the same radiation exposure. Radiotherapy treatment plans can be delivered in test mode to alanine pellets, which can then be measured to check that the intended pattern of radiation dose is correctly delivered by the treatment system.