arginine

arginine (ärˈjənĭn) [key], organic compound, one of the 20 amino acids commonly found in animal proteins. Only the l -stereoisomer participates in the biosynthesis of proteins. Its basic side chain adds a positive charge and hence a greater degree of water-solubility to proteins in neutral solution. Although arginine can be synthesized from cellular metabolites, it is usually considered essential to the diet of children for the maintenance of normal rates of growth. Arginine is the direct metabolic precursor of urea, the dominant nitrogenous waste product of most mammals. It was discovered in protein in 1895.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on arginine from Fact Monster:

  • histone - histone histone , any of a class of protein molecules found in the chromosomes of eukaryotic cells. ...
  • urea - urea urea , organic compound that is the principal end product of nitrogen metabolism in most ...
  • trypsin - trypsin trypsin, enzymethat acts to degrade protein; it is often referred to as a proteolytic ...
  • amino acid - amino acid amino acid , any one of a class of simple organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, ...
  • Encyclopedia: Biochemistry - Encyclopeadia articles concerning Biochemistry.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Biochemistry