Amino Acids Lab Report

Amino Acids Lab Report - Investigating Amino Acids Through...

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Investigating Amino Acids Through the Ninhydrin and Biuret Tests Vilson Merkaj Biology 1510 Section 008 Wayne State University
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Amino Acids Lab Report Introduction Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins. They contain the four basic elements nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. An amino acid structure begins with the central carbon in the middle. This carbon atom forms a bond with the amine group (NH 2 ), the carboxyl group (COOH), a hydrogen atom, and a variable “R” group. This “R” group is what makes one amino acid different from another amino acid. There are twenty different amino acids. Amino acids start binding together and form a polypeptide. The binding between two amino acids is called a peptide bond. In this bond, the carboxyl group of one amino acid bonds with the amino group of another amino acid. A chemical reaction called dehydration synthesis occurs during this bonding process. Water is released in dehydration synthesis. The amino acids are connected together and form a chain called a polypeptide chain. Different proteins are made of different amino acids in different sequences. A good analogy is to think of amino acids as letters in the alphabet. The letters can be used in different sequences to form thousands of different words. The simple polypeptide chain is an example of the primary structure of proteins. The secondary structure is a little more complex. It has hydrogen bonds between amino acids that cause it to coil, similar to a telephone wire coil. If the polypeptide reacts with water, it forms globular subunits. This is an example of the tertiary structure. A familiar example is hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells. The last protein structure is the quaternary structure, which has two or more globular packets. There are numerous tests that can be done to distinguish between proteins and amino acids. Two common tests are the ninhydrin test and the biuret test. The ninhydrin solution tests for separate amino acids. The ninhydrin binds with the nitrogen from the amino acid to cause a color change in the mixture. The color change ranges from pink to deep purple. An exception to this is proline, which is an amino acid, but turns yellow. The ninhydrin test should not be the
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This note was uploaded on 08/08/2008 for the course BIO 1510 taught by Professor Rodriguez during the Spring '08 term at Wayne State University.

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Amino Acids Lab Report - Investigating Amino Acids Through...

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