What are aromatic amino acids?
Aromatic amino acids are amino acids that have an aromatic ring in the side-chain.
Amino acids are biologically important organic compounds that contain amine (-NH2) and carboxylic acid (-COOH) functional groups, with a side-chain (-R) specific to each amino acid.
The general formula of an amino acid is NH₂CHRCOOH.
Four of the 21 standard amino acids have aromatic rings in their side-chains.
The diagram below shows the structures of phenylalanine, tyrosine, tryptophan, and histidine.
Some less common amino acids are
Thyroxine is derived from tyrosine. It is the ultimate metabolism regulator. It influences carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis and breakdown, and cardiovascular, renal, and brain function.
5-Hydroxytryptophan is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin from tryptophan.
L-DOPA is used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.