The phenylalanine molecule in 3-D

The phenylalanine molecule - rotatable in 3 dimensions

3 letter code:     phe        1 letter code:    F
Phenylalanine is an aromatic amino 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. Between these is the α- (alpha) carbon to which the 'R' group is attached.

Its 'R' group is rather bulky: a methyl group (as in alanine) with a benzene ring (phenyl - hence the name) attached. This is also known as a benzyl group.

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