Tryptophan facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
L-Tryptophan - L-Tryptophan
L-isomer of Tryptophan

Tryptophan (Trp or W) is encoded by the codon UGG. It is an α-amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins.

Tryptophan has an α-amino group (which is in the –NH3+ form under biological conditions), and an α-carboxylic acid group (which is in the deprotonated –COO form under biological conditions). It also has a side chain indole, which makes it a non-polar aromatic amino acid. Tryptophan is essential to humans: the body cannot synthesize it, so it must be got from the diet.

Tryptophan is also a precursor to the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin.


Tryptophan Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.