glutamine

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glutamine

(glo͞o`təmēn), organic compound, one of the 20 amino acidsamino acid
, any one of a class of simple organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and in certain cases sulfur. These compounds are the building blocks of proteins.
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 commonly found in animal proteins. Only the l-stereoisomer occurs in mammalian protein. Its structure is identical to that of glutamic acidglutamic acid
, organic compound, one of the 20 amino acids commonly found in animal proteins. Only the l-stereoisomer occurs in mammalian proteins.
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, except that the acidic side-chain carboxyl group of glutamine has been coupled with ammonia, yielding an amide. The glutamic acid-glutamine interconversion is of central importance to the regulation of the levels of toxic ammonia in the body, and it is thus not surprising that when the concentrations of the amino acids of blood plasma are measured, glutamine is found to have the highest of all. Glutamine can donate the ammonia on its side chain to the formation of ureaurea
, organic compound that is the principal end product of nitrogen metabolism in most mammals. Urea was the first animal metabolite to be isolated in crystalline form; its crystallization was described in the early 18th cent.
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 (for eventual excretion by the kidneys) and to purinespurine,
type of organic base found in the nucleotides and nucleic acids of plant and animal tissue. The German chemist Emil Fischer did much of the basic work on purines and introduced the term into the chemical literature in the early 20th cent.
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 (necessary for the synthesis of genetic material). Once glutamine is incorporated into proteins, its relatively unreactive side-chain amide participates in very few reactions. Glutamine is not essential to the human diet, since it can be synthesized in the body from glutamic acid. Glutamine was isolated from beet juice in 1883, but was not isolated from a protein until 1932; it was chemically synthesized in 1933.

glutamine

[′glüd·ə‚mēn]
(biochemistry)
C5H10O3N2 An amino acid; the monamide of glutamic acid; found in the juice of many plants and essential to the development of certain bacteria.