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Chemistry LibreTexts

Amino Acids

Amino acids are exactly what they say they are! They are compounds containing an amino group, -NH2, and a carboxylic acid group, -COOH. The biologically important amino acids have the amino group attached to the carbon atom next door to the -COOH group. They are known as 2-amino acids. They are also known (slightly confusingly) as alpha-amino acids.

Thumbnail: 3D model of L-tryptophan. Image used with permission (Public Domain; Benjah-bmm27).