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Glycine is the most simple amino acid.

Glycine is the simplest amino acid. It's sidechain (sometimes called the R-group) is one hydrogen atom. Because it has a hydrogen atom as its sidechain, glycine is the only achiral amino acid. Because it lacks a bulky sidechain, glycine has a high degree of rotational freedom and is frequently found in turns along with proline.


  • The (also called "ball and spoke") representation of glycine shows atoms and covalent bonds, but does not show the true size and shape of the molecule.
  • The representation shows size (atoms at their van der Waals radii) and shape but hides structure behind the surface.
  • The representation shows only bonds, and is better for seeing through layers of a large molecule. Even better for proteins are schematic backbone representations, including ribbon or cartoon representations.
  • In this view, the atoms that would, in a polypeptide chain, become part of the are highlighted. See also Protein Main Chain.

See Also

Proteopedia Page Contributors and Editors (what is this?)

Eric Martz, Eran Hodis

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