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One of the essential amino acids, particularly abundant in histones and other proteins associated with nucleic acids. It plays an important metabolic role in the synthesis of urea, the principal form in which mammals excrete nitrogen compounds. Arginine is used in medicine and biochemical research, in pharmaceuticals, and as a dietary supplement.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on arginine, visit Britannica.com.