Leucine is an aliphatic amino acid. It can also be described as butyl-aminoethanoic acid or butyl-aminoacetic 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.
In leucine, the 'R' group is a butyl group (-C4H9) : -CH2CH(CH3)2.
It is therefore 3 stages up from alanine.