Aspartic acid

Abbrev. D, Asp
Full Name Aspartic acid
Side chain type
acidic
Mass
133.10
pl
2.85
pK1(α-COOH)
1.99
pK2(α-+NH3)
9.90
pKr (R) 3.90

Side chain -CH2COOH
Hydro- phobic
no
Polar
yes
Charged
negative
Small
yes
Tiny
no
Aromatic or Aliphatic
no
van der Waals volume
91
Codon
GAU, GAC
Occurrence in proteins (%)
5.3

Remarks: Behaves similarly to glutamic acid. Carries a hydrophilic acidic group with strong negative charge. Usually is located on the outer surface of the protein, making it water-soluble. Binds to positively-charged molecules and ions, often used in enzymes to fix the metal ion. When located inside of the protein, aspartate and glutamate are usually paired with arginine and lysine.

Aspartic acid (Asp), also known as aspartate, the name of its anion, is one of the 20 natural proteinogenic amino acids which are the building blocks of proteins.

As with each of the 20 natural amino acids, there are two abbreviations commonly used to designate aspartic acid: Asp (three letter) and D (one letter). The abbreviations signifying a choice of either aspartic acid or asparagine are Asx (three-letter) and B (one letter).

As its name indicates, aspartic acid is the carboxylic acid analog of asparagine. It is non-essential in mammals, and might serve as an excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. It is also a metabolite in the urea cycle, and participates in gluconeogenesis.

As a neurotransmitter, aspartic acid may provide resistance to fatigue and thus lead to endurance, although the evidence to support this idea is not strong.

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