The aspartic acid molecule in 3-D

The aspartic acid molecule - rotatable in 3 dimensions

3 letter code:     asp        1 letter code:    D
Aspartic acid is an amino acid containing an extra carboxylic acid group.
It may also be described as 2-aminobutanedioic acid.

Like all amino acids, it has an amino group (-NH2) - blue with 2 white balls - at one end, and a carboxylic acid group (-COOH) - grey, connected to red, and red and white - at the other end. These groups are used to link onto other amino acids by peptide bonds. Between these is the α- (alpha) carbon to which the 'R' group is attached.

Its 'R' group is -(CH2)-COOH, a methyl group with another carboxylic acid group (-COOH) attached - grey, with red and red and white - at the other end of the molecule.

This extra carboxylic acid group on its R group gives it has extra acidic characteristics. The acid group can ionise and interact with other R groups within a polypeptide chain.

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