Alanine (Ala or A) is an amino acid present in proteins.
Structure of alanine
Like all of the amino acids, alanine has two functional groups, a carboxyl group (COOH) and an amine group (NH2). It has the simplest side chain of all the amino acids apart from glycine, consisting only of a methyl group (-CH3).
Alanine is a hydrophobic aliphatic amino acid.
Function of alanine
Alanine is not an essential amino acid as it can be produced by the body from branched chain amino acids or pyruvate.
Alanine is a hydrophilic amino acid (carbon atom in black, oxygen in red, nitrogen in blue and hydrogen in white). © Public domain