F324 Amino Acids

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Transcript of F324 Amino Acids


Amino Acids & Chirality

Amino acidsAmino Acids state the general formula for an -amino acid as RCH(NH2)COOH state that an amino acid exists as a zwitterion at a pH value called the isoelectric point state that different R groups in -amino acids may result in different isoelectric points describe the acidbase properties of -amino acids at different pH values Isoelectric points will be provided in the exam paper Peptide formation and hydrolysis of proteins explain the formation of a peptide (amide) linkage between -amino acids by condensation and subsequent condensation polymerisation to form polypeptides and proteins describe the acid and the alkaline hydrolysis of proteins and peptides to form -amino acids or carboxylates Optical Isomerism describe optical isomers as non-superimposable mirror images about an organic chiral centre: four different groups attached to a carbon atom identify chiral centres in a molecule of given structural formula explain that optical isomerism and E/Z isomerism are different types of stereoisomerism

Context Amino acids are the building blocks for biological molecules called peptides, and for proteins (polypeptides). The body has 20 different amino acids from which to assemble proteins. Proteins act as enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and transport substances such as oxygen, vitamins and minerals to cells throughout the body. They are involved in the formation of bones, teeth, hair, skin, blood vessels and other tissues Structure An amino acid contains the functional groups NH2 and COOH (amine and carboxylic acid). In an -amino acid (such as the 20 the body uses to make proteins) the NH2 and COOH groups are both bonded to the same carbon atom, along with a H atom. The general formula of an -amino acid can therefore be written as:


The R-group is usually an alkyl group but can contain OH, -SH, -COOH or NH2 groups.

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Amino Acids & Chirality

The NH2 group, like any amine, is able to act as a base by using the lone pair on the N atom to accept a proton. The COOH group, like any carboxylic acid, is acidic. It can act as a proton donor, and undergoes the characteristic reactions of a carboxylic acid e.g. esterification.

Zwitterions The acidic carboxylic acid group can donate a proton to the basic amine group. The result is an internal salt (a molecule having both a positive and a negative charge on different parts of the same molecule) known as a zwitterion.

A zwitterion has no overall charge. Each amino acid has a characteristic pH called the isoelectric point at which it exists as a zwitterion. The exact value of pH depends on the nature of the R- group. Many amino acids have their isoelectronic point close to pH = 6, but you will be given the isoelectronic point for any exam questions needing you to use it.

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Amino Acids & Chirality

Amphoteric properties Amino acids are amphoteric which means they can react with both acids and bases. In a solution with pH lower (more acidic) than the isoelectric point: The amino acid -behaves as a base, - reacts with the acid (H+ ions) in the solution e.g. H2N-CH2-COOH + H+ H3N+-CH2-COOH N.B. All NH2 groups in the amino acid will accept a proton. In a solution with pH higher ( more alkaline) than the isoelectric point: The amino acid - behaves as an acid - reacts with the alkali (OH- ions) in the solution e.g. H2N-CH2-COOH + OH- H2N-CH2-COO- + H2O N.B. All COOH groups in the amino acid will donate a proton Hint ! Read questions carefully. An equation in which the amino acid is acting as an acid would be the same equation as one in which the amino acid is reacting with a base. Overall we can depict the situation as:

Practice: 1) Glutamic acid has the formula HOOCCH2CH2CH(NH2)COOH with an isoelectronic point of pH 3.22. Write the formula for the ionic species of glutamic acid present at: (a) pH 3.22 (b) pH 1 (c) pH 13

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F324 Formation of peptides

Amino Acids & Chirality

Definitions: A peptide is a compound containing amino acids linked by peptide (amide) bonds. The number of amino acids is indicated by di-, tri- etc. prefixes. A condensation reaction is one in which two small molecules react together to form a larger molecule, with the elimination of a small molecule such as water Amino acids join together by peptide linkages to form peptides. Two amino acids can join in a condensation reaction, with the elimination of water, to form two different dipeptides. e.g. glycine can react with alanine to form a dipeptide like this:


+ H2O

But this is not the only STRUCTURAL ISOMER which could be formed. Above we reacted the NH2 group of alanine with the COOH group of glycine, but we could also have reacted the COOH group of alanine with the NH2 group of glycine:

Forming polypeptides A polypeptide is a chain of amino acids joined together by peptide linkages. The chain is made by condensation reactions. As each amino acid is added a water molecule is eliminated. Proteins are simply long-chain polypeptides, generally with more than 50 amino acid units. Drawing a section of a polypeptide Just like drawing a polymer section, there will be "open" bonds at either end of the section showing it continues beyond that which has been drawn. A section contains a whole number of amino acid units, so it is drawn with the end peptide linkages broken. One end of the section will have NH- and the other will have a CO- e.g. here is a section three amino acids long:





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F324 Hydrolysis of polypeptides and proteins

Amino Acids & Chirality

Definition: hydrolysis involves the breaking of a bond by reaction with water. Polypeptides can be hydrolysed using acidic or alkaline conditions. The peptide linkages are broken, producing fragments which are related to the original amino acids. Acid hydrolysis Conditions: heat under reflux with 6 mol dm-3 hydrochloric acid for 24 hours Effect: the chain breaks down to its component amino acids, which are in the 'positive ion' form (-NH2 groups protonated) due to the very acidic conditions. e.g. the general principle can be illustrated using a dipeptide, but a protein can be broken down in the same way:

Alkaline hydrolysis Conditions: react polypeptide with sodium hydroxide at just above 100C Effect: the chain is broken down into amino acids in the form of their sodium salts e.g the principle can be illustrated using a section of a polypeptide:

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Amino Acids & Chirality

Chirality in Pharmaceutical Synthesis explain that the synthesis of pharmaceuticals often requires the production of a single optical isomer; explain that molecules prepared synthetically in the laboratory often contain a mixture of optical isomers, whereas molecules of the same compound produced naturally by enzymes in living systems will often be present as one optical isomer only; explain that the synthesis of a pharmaceutical that is a single optical isomer: - increases costs due to difficulty in separating the optical isomers, - reduces possible side effects and improves pharmacological activity; explain that modern synthesis of a pharmaceutical with a single optical isomer is often carried out: - using enzymes or bacteria which promote stereoselectivity, - using chemical chiral synthesis or chiral catalysts, - using natural chiral molecules, such as L-amino acids or sugars, as starting materials. Requirement, for chiral drugs and medicines, to minimise side effects for economical reasons and to reduce risk to companies from litigation. Examples of chemical chiral synthesis: using cyclic strained molecules, reagents fixed to a polymer support with reactants flowing over them, and supercritical CO2.

With the exception of glycine, amino acids are examples of molecules which show a different type of stereoisomerism to the E/Z or cis-trans stereoisomerism we met in AS Chemistry. This is optical isomerism. Optical isomerism occurs when a carbon atom in a molecule has four different groups attached to it. For example, the C in an alanine molecule has H, -CH3, -NH2 and COOH attached to it, and therefore can show this type of isomerism. Definition: optical isomerism occurs when a molecule has non-superimposable mirror images about a chiral centre. Optical isomers are also referred to as enantiomers.

Non-superimposable mirror images can be thought of as "left handed" and "right handed". The mirror image of an optical isomer cannot be turned around to any position which makes it the same as the original. A chiral centre is a carbon atom in an organic molecule with all four attached groups being different. Rotations of the molecule about this centre cannot make one optical isomer the same as another.

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Amino Acids & Chirality

Optical isomers are chemically identical, although they have different physical properties, in that they rotate plane-polarised light in different directions. A molecule can have more than one chiral centre. Each produces two optical isomers, so if a molecule has two chiral carbon atoms it will have two pairs of isomers (i.e. four optical isomers). Practice: 2) Which of the following molecules has chiral centers, and where are they: (Hint: The easiest way to see is to draw displayed formulae and look for carbons with four different attached groups) CH3CH2CH2CH2CH2OH CH3CH2CH(NH2)CH3 Chirality in drug synthesis CH3CHClCH3 CH3CH(OH)Br

Molecules prepared synthetically in the laboratory often contain a mixture of optical isomers, whereas molecules of the same compound produced naturally by enzymes in living systems will often be present as one optical isomer