Discuss amino acids under the following headings:
a) Properties and uses of amino acids
b) At least 5 structural examples of amino acids
c) Condensation polymerization of any three named amino acids to form a polymer
Amino acids are used by tissues to synthesize proteins and to produce nitrogen-containing compounds or they are oxidized to produce energy. Amino acids have physical properties and chemical properties. These properties are; they are colorless and crystalline solid, have a high melting point greater than 200 degrees Celsius, are soluble in water, slightly soluble in alcohol, and dissolve with difficulty in methanol, ethanol, and propanol, they decompose on heating to high temperatures, they are amphoteric implying they can act as acid and base, and they react with nitrous acid. Amino acids are used as; they are used as building blocks in all living things, they help in sustaining the health of the body by Production of hormones structure of muscles, the human nervous system's healthy functioning, the health of vital organs, and normal cellular structure, and they synthesize proteins and produce energy.
Amino acids are structured into alpha-amino acids composed of a carboxyl group, an amino group, hydrogen, and a side chain (R-Group). They are structured into essential and non-essential amino acids. These essential amino acids are not synthesized in the body and thus come with a diet and they are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Non-essential amino acids can be synthesized in the body itself and hence do not necessarily need to be acquired through diet and they include; Arginine, glutamine, tyrosine, cysteine, glycine, proline, serine, ornithine, alanine, asparagine, and aspartate.
Condensation polymerization involves developing polymers through a condensation reaction where molecules join together losing small molecules as by-products such as water or methanol. Amino acids such as cysteine, leucine, and arginine are used in making polymers as polypeptides. They are also formed from the reaction of carboxylic acid and an amine which include the amino acids.