The main difference between glutamate and glutamine is that glutamate is a non-essential amino acid, whereas glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid.
Glutamate and glutamine are two types of amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds that contain amino and carboxylic acid functional groups. They are the building blocks of proteins. There are many types of amino acids in nature, but only 20 amino acids are necessary for the production of proteins in the human body.
Key Areas Covered
What is Glutamate
Glutamate is a non-essential amino acid. It is the divalent anion of glutamic acid. It is also a neurotransmitter. Glutamate is the most abundant excitatory neurotransmitter found in the brain. The function of an excitatory neurotransmitter is to stimulate a nerve cell. Glutamate is essential for the proper functioning of the brain. It is made in the glial cells of the brain. Glutamate is also necessary for making another neurotransmitter in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid.
Moreover, these neurotransmitters are stored in synaptic vesicles, located at the axon terminal at the end of each nerve cell. These thick-walled vesicles also contain thousands of neurotransmitter molecules. The electrical charges that travel along the nerve cell after reaching the end of the nerve cell cause the vesicle to release glutamate (the neurotransmitter) into the fluid-filled space between the nerve cells. Next, the glutamate molecules bind to specific message-receiving receptors on the next nerve cell. Then this neurotransmitter triggers a change in the next nerve cell. In this manner, signals are communicated from one nerve cell to the other. Furthermore, glutamate has the ability to bind to four different receptors.
Furthermore, there are many functions of glutamate. Some of these are learning and memory, acting as chemical messengers, and being an energy source for the brain cells.
What is Glutamine
Glutamine is an amino acid the body produces. In fact, it is the most abundant amino acid in the body. It is also one of the 20 amino acids that make up all proteins. Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid. This means it is required during traumatic conditions.
Glutamine can be taken from dietary sources such as protein-rich foods like beef, eggs, fish, chicken, cabbage, papaya, wheat, and spinach. It is also necessary to make other amino acids and glucose.
Moreover, glutamine is important in several aspects. One of the most vital functions of glutamine is its role in the immune system. It acts as a fuel source for immune cells, including white blood cells and some intestinal cells. It also participates in protein synthesis and lipid synthesis. Glutamine also regulates the acid-base balance in the kidney by producing ammonium. Another instance where it can be useful is in nitrogen donation for many anabolic processes. It is a non-toxic transporter of ammonia in blood circulation.
Difference Between Glutamate and Glutamine
Glutamate is the divalent anion of glutamic acid, while glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body.
Glutamate is a non-essential amino acid, whereas glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid.
Glutamate acts as a neurotransmitter in the nervous system, as an energy source, and also helps in learning and memory, while glutamine acts as an energy source and a donor for carbon and nitrogen. Glutamine also maintains ionic balance in the kidney and helps in the non-toxic transportation of ammonia in the blood.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. There are many types of amino acids in nature. Glutamine and glutamate are two such amino acids. The main difference between glutamate and glutamine is that glutamate is a non-essential amino acid, whereas glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid.