|Jmol-3D images||Image 1
|Molar mass||132.12 g mol−1|
234 °C, 507 K, 453 °F
438 °C, 711 K, 820 °F
|Solubility in water||2.94 g/100 mL|
|Solubility||soluble in acid, alkali
negligible in methanol, ethanol, ether, benzene
|Acidity (pKa)||2.02 (carboxyl), 8.80 (amino)1|
|Std enthalpy of
|Flash point||219 °C (426 °F)|
|Supplementary data page|
|n, εr, etc.|
Solid, liquid, gas
|Spectral data||UV, IR, NMR, MS|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Asparagine (abbreviated as Asn or N) is one of the 20 most common natural amino acids on Earth. It has carboxamide as the side-chain's functional group. It is not an essential amino acid. Its codons are AAU and AAC.2
A reaction between asparagine and reducing sugars or reactive carbonyls produces acrylamide (acrylic amide) in food when heated to sufficient temperature. These products occur in baked goods such as French fries, potato chips, and toasted bread.
Asparagine was first isolated in 1806, under a crystalline form, by French chemists Louis Nicolas Vauquelin and Pierre Jean Robiquet (then a young assistant) from asparagus juice,34 in which it is abundant — hence, the name they chose for that new matter — becoming the first amino acid to be isolated.
A few years later, in 1809, Pierre Jean Robiquet again identified, this time from liquorice root, a substance with properties he qualified as very similar to those of asparagine, that Plisson in 1828 identified as asparagine itself.5
Since the asparagine side-chain can form hydrogen bond interactions with the peptide backbone, asparagine residues are often found near the beginning and the end of alpha-helices, and in turn motifs in beta sheets. Its role can be thought as "capping" the hydrogen bond interactions that would otherwise be satisfied by the polypeptide backbone. Glutamines, with an extra methylene group, have more conformational entropy and thus are less useful in this regard.
Asparagine also provides key sites for N-linked glycosylation, modification of the protein chain with the addition of carbohydrate chains.
Asparagine is not essential for humans, which means that it can be synthesized from central metabolic pathway intermediates and is not required in the diet.
Asparagine is found in:
- Animal sources: dairy, whey, beef, poultry, eggs, fish, lactalbumin, seafood
- Plant sources: asparagus, potatoes, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy, whole grains
The precursor to asparagine is oxaloacetate. Oxaloacetate is converted to aspartate using a transaminase enzyme. The enzyme transfers the amino group from glutamate to oxaloacetate producing α-ketoglutarate and aspartate. The enzyme asparagine synthetase produces asparagine, AMP, glutamate, and pyrophosphate from aspartate, glutamine, and ATP. In the asparagine synthetase reaction, ATP is used to activate aspartate, forming β-aspartyl-AMP. Glutamine donates an ammonium group, which reacts with β-aspartyl-AMP to form asparagine and free AMP.
Aspartate is a glucogenic amino acid. L-asparaginase hydrolyzes the amide group to form aspartate and ammonium. A transaminase converts the aspartate to oxaloacetate, which can then be metabolized in the citric acid cycle or gluconeogenesis.
The nervous system requires asparagine. It also plays an important role in the synthesis of ammonia.
The addition of N-acetylglucosamine to asparagine is performed by oligosaccharyltransferase enzymes in the endoplasmic reticulum.6 This glycosylation is important both for protein structure7 and protein function.8
- Dawson, R.M.C., et al., Data for Biochemical Research, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1959.
- "Nomenclature and symbolism for amino acids and peptides (IUPAC-IUB Recommendations 1983)", Pure Appl. Chem. 56 (5), 1984: 595–624, doi:10.1351/pac198456050595.
- Vauquelin LN, Robiquet PJ (1806). "La découverte d'un nouveau principe végétal dans le suc des asperges". Annales de Chimie 57: 88–93.
- R.H.A. Plimmer (1912) . R.H.A. Plimmer & F.G. Hopkins, ed. The chemical composition of the proteins. Monographs on biochemistry. Part I. Analysis (2nd ed.). London: Longmans, Green and Co. p. 112. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
- Burda P, Aebi M (January 1999). "The dolichol pathway of N-linked glycosylation". Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1426 (2): 239–57. doi:10.1016/S0304-4165(98)00127-5
- Imperiali B, O'Connor SE (December 1999). "Effect of N-linked glycosylation on glycopeptide and glycoprotein structure". Curr Opin Chem Biol 3 (6): 643–9. doi:10.1016/S1367-5931(99)00021-6. PMID 10600722
- Patterson MC (September 2005). "Metabolic mimics: the disorders of N-linked glycosylation". Semin Pediatr Neurol 12 (3): 144–51. doi:10.1016/j.spen.2005.10.002