Amino acids in the human body, in most cases, are included in peptides during transcription and translation. Peptides are polymers consisting of amino acids, which are monomers. In this regard, amino acids can be considered as a structural material through which the implementation of genetic information is realized.
Amino acids in the human body, as a rule, are functionally related to:
- peptides with hormonal activity (oxytocin, vasopressin, hypothalamus releasing hormones, melanocyte stimulating hormones, glucagon and other active substances);
- peptides regulating digestive processes (gastrin, cholecystokinin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, gastric inhibitory peptide and other active substances);
- peptides, regulating the tone of blood vessels and arterial pressure (bradykinin, valine, angiotensin III);
- peptides, controlling appetite (leptin, neuropeptide Y, melanocyte stimulating hormone, endorphins);
- peptides with analgesic effect (encephalin, endorphins);
- peptides taking part in the regulation of higher nervous activity (sleep, wakefulness, memory, emotions), which are based on biochemical processes;
- nitric oxide – a mediator that regulates the vascular tone and is derived from arginine;
- peptides involved in the immune system (underlying the humoral component of immunity);
- nucleotides, which are synthesized from aspartate, glycine and glutamate.
Thus, in the human body, amino acids play an important role and their deficiency can seriously affect many, sometimes vitally important, biochemical reactions.
The formula of molecules of amino acids is H2NCHRCOOH. In its composition, it is possible to isolate the carboxyl and amino groups, which differ in radicals (R). Although in nature there are a large number of compounds with a structuresimilarto amino acids structure, the genetic code contains information on only about 20 amino acids that are involved in the synthesis of proteins in humans, which are the second most common, after water, component of muscles, cells and most other tissues. Nine of the twenty amino acids are L-stereoisomers, which are involved in the life of the human body.
D-stereoisomerscan also participate in the synthesis of proteins in rare cases, which are observed in bacteria and some antibiotics, which normally do not participate in the biochemical reactions of the human body. Also D-amino acids are often found in the synthesis of peptides formed without the participation of ribosomes in some mushrooms and bacteria.
Thus, people do not use the entire range of existing amino acids in the world, while those compounds can be used in the lives of other living organisms. As a rule, while preserving the qualitative composition, the spatial characteristics of these compounds have a significant effect on the properties of amino acids.