Abbrev. N Asn
Full Name Asparagine
Side chain type hydrophobic
Side chain -CH2CONH2
Hydro- phobic no
Aromatic or Aliphatic no
van der Waals volume 96
Codon AAU, AAC
Occurrence in proteins (%) 4.3
Remarks: Neutralized version of aspartic acid.
Asparagine is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids on Earth. It has carboxamide as the side chain's functional group. It is considered a non-essential amino acid. Asparagine was the first amino acid to be isolated. It was obtained from asparagus juice(hence the name)
Its three-letter abbreviation is Asn, and its one-letter abbreviation is N. A three-letter designation for either asparagine or aspartic acid is Asx (one-letter abbreviation: B).
A reaction between asparagine and reducing sugars or reactive carbonyls produces acrylamide (acrylic amide) in food when heated to sufficient temperature, i.e. baking. These occur primarilly in baked goods such as french fries, potato chips, and roasted coffee.
A byproduct of the breakdown of asparagine (asparagine-amino-succinic-acid monoamide) is also blamed for the smell in some people's urine after they have eaten asparagus (Some scientists disagree and implicate other substances in the smell, especially methanethiol). Asparagine was first discovered in asparagus, which has a high concentration of the amino acid. It was the first amino acid to be discovered, in 1806.
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