L-Alanine amino acid molecule

L-Alanine amino acid molecule

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: L-Alanine. Molecular model of the amino acid L-alanine (C3.H7.N.O2). Structurally an alpha amino acid, L-alanine (the left-handed isomer of alanine) is a non-essential amino acid. It can be synthesised by the body and so does not need to come from the diet. Alanine plays an important role in the production of urea, the principal form in which mammals excrete nitrogenous compounds from the body. Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (grey), hydrogen (white), nitrogen (blue) and oxygen (red).

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