beta-Alanine

Photograph of beta-Alanine under the microscope.

This is the only naturally occurring beta amino acid, however this biochemical is not used in the biosynthesis of any major proteins or enzymes. Structurally, the IUPAC name for beta-alanine would be 3- (or beta- ) aminopropionic acid. It is a component of the naturally occurring peptides carnosine and anserine and also of pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5) which itself is a component of coenzyme A. Under normal conditions, beta-alanine is metabolized into acetic acid.

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