Biochemistry For Dummies, 3rd Edition
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Studying amino acids (the building blocks of proteins, which humans need to grow and develop) is essential in biochemistry. The four subgroups of amino acids are nonpolar, polar and uncharged, acidic, and basic.

This Cheat Sheet provides a handy, quick reference to these four subgroups.

Biochemistry's basic amino acids

Amino acids are important to the study of biochemistry because they’re the building blocks of proteins found in all cells. The basic group of amino acids is represented here:


Nonpolar (hydrophobic) amino acids of biochemistry

Amino acids play an important role in the study of biochemistry. The following nonpolar amino acids are hydrophobic, or water-hating. They don’t gratefully interact with (dissolve in) water. Here are the nonpolar amino acids:


Polar and uncharged amino acids of biochemistry

Except for glycine, the polar and uncharged (hydrophilic) amino acids can hydrogen bond to water and are usually more soluble than the nonpolar amino acids. The polar and uncharged amino acids studied in biochemistry are


Biochemistry's acidic amino acids

Important to the study of biochemistry, aspartic and glumatic acids are negatively charged at physiological pH and polar. These two amino acids make up the acidic amino acid group and are represented here:


About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

John T. Moore, EdD, is regents professor of chemistry at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and the author of numerous books on chemistry. Richard Langley has taught at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas since 1982. He is the author of 500 Physical Chemistry Questions and coauthor of numerous other books, including Chemistry for the Utterly Confused, Organic Chemistry II For Dummies, and Biochemistry For Dummies.

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