N-terminal vs C-terminal of an Amino Acid

Since all 20 amino acids have a a carboxylic acid group and an amino group, biochemists refer to amino end of a polypeptide sequence as the “N-terminal”, whereas the Carboxyl group is referred to as the “C-terminal”.

Suppose alanine (above) joins with gylcine. The amino group of gylcine would attach to the carboxyl group after a condensation reaction occurs forming a dipeptide.

The amino group of alanine would be referred to as the N-terminus. The carboxyl group would be referred to as the C-terminus.

Note: All amino acid sequences are read from N-terminus to C-terminus.

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