The alanine molecule in 3-D

The alanine molecule - rotatable in 3 dimensions



3 letter code:     ala        1 letter code:    A
Alanine is an aliphatic amino acid. It is effectively glycine with one hydrogen replaced by a methyl group. It can also be described as methyl-aminoethanoic acid or methyl-aminoacetic acid.

Like all amino acids, it has an amino group (-NH2) - blue with 2 white balls - at one end, and a carboxylic acid group (-COOH) - grey, connected to red, and red and white - at the other end. Between these is the α- (alpha) carbon to which the 'R' group is attached.

In alanine, the 'R' group is a methyl (-CH3) group. It is therefore one stage up from glycine.

Click below to highlight parts of molecule


Label/ Unlabel atoms


You can move this molecule in 3 dimensions by holding down the left button and dragging using the mouse.

If you have a central mouse wheel you can usually zoom the image in/out.

Right clicking gives a variety of display options.

Simply leaving the mouse pointer over one of the atoms will give information about it; the atom symbol, and some other less useful numerical information.


Label/ Unlabel atoms