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Aspartic acid (symbol Asp or D; the ionic form is known as aspartate), is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Like all other amino acids, it contains an amino group and a carboxylic acid. Its α-amino group is in the protonated –NH+ 3 form under physiological conditions, while its α-carboxylic acid group is deprotonated −COO− under physiological conditions. Aspartic acid has an acidic side chain (CH2COOH) which reacts with other amino acids, enzymes and proteins in the body. Under physiological conditions (pH 7.4) in proteins the side chain usually occurs as the negatively charged aspartate form, −COO−. It is a non-essential amino acid in humans, meaning the body can synthesize it as needed. It is encoded by the codons GAT and GAC. In mRNA, CUA and CUG.
D-Aspartate is one of two D-amino acids commonly found in mammals.
The L-isomer of Asp is one of the 22 proteinogenic amino acids, i.e., the building blocks of proteins. Aspartic acid, like glutamic acid, is classified as an acidic amino acid, with a pKa of 3.9, however in a peptide this is highly dependent on the local environment, and could be as high as 14. Asp is pervasive in biosynthesis.
There are two forms or enantiomers of aspartic acid. The name "aspartic acid" can refer to either enantiomer or a mixture of two. Of these two forms, only one, "L-aspartic acid", is directly incorporated into proteins. The biological roles of its counterpart, "D-aspartic acid" are more limited. Where enzymatic synthesis will produce one or the other, most chemical syntheses will produce both forms, "DL-aspartic acid", known as a racemic mixture.
In the human body, aspartate is most frequently synthesized through the transamination of oxaloacetate. The biosynthesis of aspartate is facilitated by an aminotransferase enzyme: the transfer of an amine group from another molecule such as alanine or glutamine yields aspartate and an alpha-keto acid.
Aspartate also plays an important role in the urea cycle.
Racemic aspartic acid can be synthesized from diethyl sodium phthalimidomalonate,
In plants and microorganisms, aspartate is the precursor to several amino acids, including four that are essential for humans: methionine, threonine, isoleucine, and lysine. The conversion of aspartate to these other amino acids begins with reduction of aspartate to its "semialdehyde", O2CCH(NH2)CH2CHO.Asparagine is derived from aspartate via transamidation:
In 2014, the global market for aspartic acid was 39.3 thousand short tons (35.7 thousand tonnes) or about $117 million annually with potential areas of growth accounting for an addressable market[clarification needed] of $8.78 billion (Bn). The three largest market segments include the U.S., Western Europe, and China. Current applications include biodegradable polymers (polyaspartic acid), low calorie sweeteners (aspartame), scale and corrosion inhibitors, and resins.
In addition to SAP, aspartic acid has applications in the $19Bn fertilizer industry, where polyaspartate improves water retention and nitrogen uptake; the $1.1Bn (2020) concrete floor coatings market, where polyaspartic is a low VOC, low energy alternative to traditional epoxy resins; and lastly the >$5Bn scale and corrosion inhibitors market.
Aspartic acid is not an essential amino acid, which means that it can be synthesized from central metabolic pathway intermediates in humans. However, aspartic acid is found in:
Animal sources: oysters, luncheon meats, sausage meat, wild game
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GMD MS Spectrum
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