The Leucine molecule - rotatable in 3 dimensions

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3 letter code:     leu        1 letter code:    L
Leucine is an aliphatic amino acid. It can also be described as butyl-aminoethanoic acid or butyl-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 leucine, the 'R' group is a butyl group (-C4H9) : -CH2CH(CH3)2. It is therefore 3 stages up from alanine.

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