Amino acids consist of an amine, carboxylic acid and functional groups as well as distinctive side chains. Amino acids are biomolecules of great relevance in many fields, widely used in the food, pharmaceutical, and agrochemical industries. They are essential for life, and have many functions in metabolism. One particularly important function is to serve as the building blocks of peptides and proteins, giving rise complex three dimensional structures through disulfide bonds or crosslinked amino acids. They also form the backbones of critical nitrogen-based compounds such as cytochromes, heme, hormones, melanin, neurotransmitters, nucleotides/nucleic acids and others.
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