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