Glycine (abbreviated as Gly or G) is the organic compound with the formula NH2CH2COOH. It is the smallest of the 20 amino acids commonly found in proteins, coded by codons GGU, GGC, GGA and GGG. Because it has specialized structural properties in protein architecture, this compact amino acid is often evolutionarily conserved. For example, cytochrome c, myoglobin, and hemoglobin all contain conserved glycines. Glycine is unique among the proteinogenic amino acids in that is not chiral. Most proteins contain only small quantities of glycine. A notable exception is collagen, which contains about 35% glycine. In its solid, i.e., crystallized, form, glycine is a free-flowing, sweet-tasting crystalline material.
or via the Strecker amino acid synthesis.
There are two producers of glycine in the United States. Chattem Chemicals, Inc. and GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc., who purchased the glycine production facilities of Dow/Hampshire Chemical Corp.
In the second pathway, glycine is degraded in two steps. The first step is the reverse of glycine biosynthesis from serine with serine hydroxymethyl transferase. Serine is then converted to pyruvate by serine dehydratase.
In the third pathway of glycine degradation, glycine is converted to glyoxylate by D-amino acid oxidase. Glycoxylate is then oxidized by hepatic lactate dehydrogenase to oxalate in an NAD+-dependent reaction.
Glycine is used as a sweetener/taste enhancer, buffering agent in antiperspirants based on zirconium/aluminum chlorohydrate (ZACH) salts complexed with glycine (aminoethanoic acid), which buffers ZACH salts without hindering performance, reabsorbable amino acid, chemical intermediate, metal complexing agent, and dietary supplement as well as in certain pharmaceuticals.
Glycine imported from China to the United States has been subject to antidumping duties since March, 1995.
In 2007, a United States manufacturer of Glycine, GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. filed petitions requesting that antidumping duties also be imposed on Glycine imported from Japan, the Republic of Korea, and India. On September 7, 2007 the Department of Commerce announced its affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty investigations on imports of glycine from Japan and the Republic of Korea (Korea). On October 29, 2007 the Department of Commerce announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty investigation on imports of glycine from India.
In October 2004, Snyder and collaborators reinvestigated the glycine claim in Kuan et al. (2003). In a rigorous attempt to confirm the detection, Snyder showed that glycine was not detected in any of the three claimed sources.
In 2008, the glycine like molecule amino acetonitrile was discovered in the Large Molecule Heimat, a giant gas cloud near the galactic center in the constellation Sagittarius by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
Should the glycine claim be substantiated, the finding would not prove that life exists outside the Earth, but certainly makes that possibility more plausible by showing that amino acids can be formed in the interstellar medium.
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