Amino Acids

An amino acid is any molecule that contains both amino and carboxylic acid functional groups. Amino acid is any one of a class of simple organic compounds containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and in certain cases sulfur. These compounds are the building blocks of proteins.  Amino acids are biochemical building blocks. They form short polymer chains called peptides or polypeptides which in turn form structures called proteins. Each amino acid has at least one carboxyl (COOH) group, which is acidic, and one amino (NH(2)) group, which is basic. Amino acids join together in long chains, the amino group of one amino acid linking with the carboxyl group of another. The linkage is known as a peptide bond, and a chain of amino acids is known as a polypeptide.