Aspartate and aspartic acid are two forms of an amino acid which mainly serve as a building block for the synthesis of proteins. Aspartate is synthesized by the human body through the transamination of oxaloacetate and therefore, aspartic acid is considered as a non-essential amino acid.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Aspartate
– Definition, Charge, Role
2. What is Aspartic Acid
– Definition, Structure, Role
3. What are the Similarities Between Aspartate and Aspartic Acid
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Aspartate and Aspartic Acid
– Comparison of Key Differences
Aspartate, Aspartic Acid, Excitatory Neurotransmitter, Non-Essential Amino Acid, Urea Cycle
What is Aspartate
Aspartate is the anionic form of the aspartic acid, an α-amino acid, which bears a net negative charge. It is the most common form of the amino acid that occurs under physiological conditions of the body. It plays a key role in urea cycle by donating amino groups to the formation of urea. It also participates in the malate-aspartate shuttle of the gluconeogenesis. In addition, it is the amino acid which provides a nitrogen atom for the synthesis of inosine. Moreover, it serves as an excitatory neurotransmitter like glutamate but, its effect is as not strong as glutamate.
Aspartate serves as a precursor for the synthesis of several amino acids including methionine, threonine, lysine, and isoleucine in plants and microorganisms. These four amino acids cannot be produced by the human body; hence, they are considered as essential amino acids.
What is Aspartic Acid
Aspartic acid is an α-amino acid that serves as a non-essential amino acid in the human body. This means, our body can synthesis aspartic acid through transamination of oxaloacetate. The enzyme involved in the process is aminotransferase, which transfers an amine group from glutamine or alanine. Just like glutamic acid, aspartic acid is considered as an acidic amino acid.
The main function of aspartic acid is to serve as a building block for the synthesis of proteins. The two codons of the genetic code, which encode for aspartic acid, are GAU and GAC. L-aspartic acid is the form of aspartic acid incorporated into proteins. Aspartic acid occurs in both plants and animals. Sugar cane and sugar beets are two important sources of aspartic acid.
Similarities Between Aspartate and Aspartic Acid
- Aspartate and aspartic acid are two forms of amino acid which serve as a building block in protein synthesis.
- Both contain four carbon atoms, two carboxyl groups, and one amine group.
- They contain an acidic side chain, CH2COOH.
- Both occur in L-form in the mammal body.
What is the Difference Between Aspartate and Aspartic Acid
Aspartate refers to the salt of aspartic acid while aspartic acid refers to an acidic amino acid which is a constituent of most proteins, and also occurs in sugar cane. This explains the basic difference between aspartate and aspartic acid.
Another difference between aspartate and aspartic acid is that while aspartic acid bears a net negative charge, aspartic acid is a neutral molecule.
Aspartate is the form of aspartic acid that occurs under physiological conditions of the body; aspartic acid converts into aspartate.
Role in the Body
Moreover, aspartate is involved in the metabolism of nitrogen in animals, and also acts as a neurotransmitter while aspartic acid serves as a building block in protein synthesis. This is yet another difference between aspartate and aspartic acid.
Aspartate is the anionic form of aspartic acid that occurs in the body under physiological conditions. On the other hand, aspartic acid is a non-essential amino acid that occurs in the body. It serves as a building block in protein synthesis. The main difference between aspartate and aspartic acid is their charge and role in the body.
1. “Aspartic Acid.” ScienceDirect, Elsevier, Available Here