Glutamic Acid

Photograph of Glutamic Acid under the microscope.

Glutamic acid is biosynthesized from a number of amino acids including ornithine and arginine. When aminated, glutamic acid forms the important amino acid glutamine. Because it has a carboxylic acid moiety on the side chain, glutamic acid is one of only two amino acids (the other being aspartic acid) that has a net negative charge at physiological pH. This negative charge makes glutamic acid a very polar molecule and it is usually found on the outside of proteins and enzymes where it is free to interact with the aqueous intracellular surroundings. On a molar basis, glutamic acid is incorporated into proteins at a rate of 6.2 percent compared to the other amino acids.

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