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.