Valine and Glutamic Acid: Is Amino Acid Substitution Possible?

admin | September 13, 2019 | Health

Before everything else, I will be giving the topics that will be discussed as you continue reading this article. First, we will be tackling a few things to get to know more about conservative replacement in amino acids. Second, the difference between the amino acids valine and glutamic acid. Lastly, why valine and glutamic acid replacement results in sickle cell anemia.

The body is capable of doing a lot of substitutions when it comes to the compounds and substances within it. If there are no carbohydrates to burn and made into an energy source, what will the body do then? The stored fats are then used by the body as the substitutes. Sure, it is a completely different process. It is an effective way of making a substitute as an energy source. This new process is even capable of providing additional health benefits that the body can take advantage of.

Amino Acid Substitution: What Is It?

There are too many substances that comprise the body and each of them has its own specific functions and importance. If the fats and carbohydrates can do the substitution, amino acids can too.

Amino acids are as important as any other body component. They contribute a lot to the development and functions of the body. Conservative replacement or substitution is the term for this substitution that occurs between amino acids.

Conservative replacement or substitution sure is really helpful, but there are some conditions that prove that it is not helpful all the time. Sometimes, there may be errors in the synthesis, mutations, and such; and unfortunately, these situations may result in certain health conditions and complications. A good example is the replacement of valine for glutamic acid which is very much unusual since both amino acids are of different properties, this unwelcome mutation may then result in a condition called the sickle cell anemia.

Conservative Replacement: What Is It For?

Conservative replacement is a specific term that pertains to the replacement of amino acids that occurs in a protein. Mutations like these are only considered as conservative if there are similarities regarding the biochemical properties of both amino acids. Their similarities should either be based on either one or all of the following: their sizes, charge, and hydrophobicity.

Out of all the amino acids in our bodies, there are just a few combinations that are accepted for conservative replacement. Some amino acids that may undergo this procedure are leucine and isoleucine which are both branch-chained amino acids or BCAAs, and they are also similarly categorized as aliphatic and known as hydrophobes. Another example is aspartic acid and glutamic acid, which for one are both acidic, small in size, and negatively charged. There are many more combinations of amino acids that are able to do conservative replacement with each other, but we will be focusing on valine and glutamic acid.

Valine vs Glutamic Acid: What’s the Difference?

Basing on their names, valine and glutamic are complete opposites. They are different amino acids that do not seem to have similarities in terms of their biochemical properties. From the previously given examples of amino acid combinations, valine and glutamic acid are classified as aliphatic and acidic respectively. Those classes of amino acids are very different from each other.

The Amino Acid Valine

When it comes to what valine is known for, it most probably is its characteristics as a branch-chained amino acid. With leucine and isoleucine, valine is considered as the third BCAAs, which makes up one-third of the essential amino acids.

When compared to the other two BCAAs leucine and isoleucine, valine is not yet proven to be useful by itself. When these three are all together, that is when they start boosting the health benefits that they can offer. Since they are essential amino acids, they must be taken by consuming food sources that contain heaps of them. Nowadays there are a lot more options, thanks to amino acid supplements

Valine is known as a BCAA that works together with leucine and isoleucine. Some of the benefits that they can provide the body are:

The Glutamic Acid

The difference of glutamic acid from valine can already be seen with this – it is a non-essential amino acid. It means that the body produces glutamic acid by its own, unlike valine that must be provided by food or supplements. The main function of glutamic acid has something to do with the nervous system of the body, specifically the brain. Without glutamic acid, the brain may be struggling already, because the amino acid is said to be very important and vital for a lot of brain functions which include its development and overall health. In short, glutamic acid may have something to do with an individual’s intelligence. Amazingly enough, a lot of studies have claimed that it is the glutamic acid in our brains that contributes a lot regarding our thinking, moods, and mental alertness.

Risk Of Combining Opposite Amino Acids

As both amino acids are described, their differences are clearly seen from each of their characteristics and properties. Any mutation that may happen between the two of them will result in complications such as the disease called the sickle cell anemia.

Since amino acid mutations and substitutions occur in proteins, in the case of sickle cell anemia the mutation of valine and glutamic acid occurred in the hemoglobin protein. Thus, a blood-related condition.

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