alpha-amino acid

noun
al·​pha-ami·​no acid
variants: or α-amino acid \ -​ə-​ˌmē-​nō-​ How to pronounce α-amino acid (audio) \

Medical Definition of alpha-amino acid

: any of the more than 20 amino acids that have an amino group in the alpha position with most having the general formula RCH(NH2)COOH, that are synthesized in plant and animal tissues, that are considered the building blocks of proteins from which they can be obtained by hydrolysis, and that play an important role in metabolism, growth, maintenance, and repair of tissue — see essential amino acid, nonessential amino acid

Learn More about alpha-amino acid

Cite this Entry

“Alpha-amino acid.” Merriam-Webster.com Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/alpha-amino%20acid. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

Comments on alpha-amino acid

What made you want to look up alpha-amino acid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!