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  • Lysine


    Lysine (symbol Lys or K) is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains an α-amino group (which is in the protonated −NH3+ form under biological conditions), an α-carboxylic acid group (which is in the deprotonated −COO− form under biological conditions), and a side chain lysyl ((CH2)4NH2), classifying it as a basic, charged (at physiological pH), aliphatic amino acid. It is encoded by the codons, AAA and AAG. Like almost all other amino acids, the α-carbon is chiral and lysine may refer to either enantiomer or a racemic mixture of both. For the purpose of this article, lysine will refer to the biologically active enantiomer L-lysine, where the α-carbon is in the S configuration. The human body cannot synthesize lysine, so it is essential in humans and must be obtained from the diet. In organisms that synthesise lysine, it has two main biosynthetic pathways, the diaminopimelate and α-aminoadipate pathways, which employ different enzymes and substrates and are found in different organisms. Lysine catabolism occurs through one of several pathways, the most common of which is the saccharopine pathway.

  • Ninhydrin


    Ninhydrin (2,2-dihydroxyindane-1,3-dione) is a chemical used to detect ammonia or primary and secondary amines. When reacting with these free amines, a deep blue or purple color known as Ruhemann's purple is produced. Ninhydrin is most commonly used to detect fingerprints, as the terminal amines of lysine residues in peptides and proteins sloughed off in fingerprints react with ninhydrin. It is a white solid which is soluble in ethanol and acetone at room temperature. Ninhydrin can be considered as the hydrate of indane-1,2,3-trione.

  • Essential amino acid


    An essential amino acid, or indispensable amino acid, is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized de novo (from scratch) by the organism, and thus must be supplied in its diet. The nine amino acids humans cannot synthesize are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine. Six other amino acids are considered conditionally essential in the human diet, meaning their synthesis can be limited under special pathophysiological conditions, such as prematurity in the infant or individuals in severe catabolic distress. These six are arginine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, proline, and tyrosine. Five amino acids are dispensable in humans, meaning they can be synthesized in sufficient quantities in the body. These five are alanine, aspartic acid, asparagine, glutamic acid and serine.

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