University Chemistry ›› 2019, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (3): 23-31.doi: 10.3866/PKU.DXHX201805046

• Survey of Chemistry • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Discussion on the Chemical Principles of Amino Acid Metabolism Based on Three Non-Polar Amino Acids

Xinyu MA1,Zhipeng A. WANG1,4,*(),Jie TIAN2,Zhenxiong JIANG2,Yunzi GOU2,Huijuan YAN3,Bing XU3   

  1. 1 Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77840, USA
    2 Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, Texas 77840, USA
    3 Plant Pathology & Microbiology Department, Texas A&M University, Texas 77840, USA
    4 Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China
  • Received:2018-05-29 Accepted:2018-06-21 Published:2019-03-09
  • Contact: Zhipeng A. WANG


Considering the diversity and relative independence of amino acid metabolic pathways, the introduction and expansion of contents related to undergraduate education are important to foster a new generation of promising interdisciplinary researchers of the 21st century. This manuscript applies three non-polar natural amino acids, Val, Ile, and Leu, as examples to the exploring of a novel teaching example for lecturing the contents and methods of amino acid metabolism. The manuscript also attempts to generalize and summarize the reasons and logics behind the choices that nature makes for these metabolic pathways. Meanwhile, the biochemical processes involved reflects some unusual metabolic pathways and chemical reaction principles in life science. These pieces of knowledge are not only attractive and inspiring materials for undergraduate education, but also an effective way to illustrate current research frontiers. This manuscript is looking forward to helping students in their further studies and researches.

Key words: Valine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Umpolung, Metabolism, Thiamine pyrophosphate


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