Aliphatic Amino Acid Definition

Alanine is an example of an aliphatic amino acid.
Alanine is an example of an aliphatic amino acid. PASIEKA / Getty Images

Definition: An aliphatic amino acid is an amino acid containing an aliphatic side chain functional group.

Aliphatic amino acids are non-polar and hydrophobic.

Examples: Alanine, isoleucine, leucine, proline, and valine, are all aliphatic amino acids.

Methionine is sometimes considered an aliphatic amino acid even though the side chain contains a sulfur atom because it is fairly non-reactive like the true aliphatic amino acids.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Aliphatic Amino Acid Definition." ThoughtCo, Apr. 9, 2016, thoughtco.com/definition-of-aliphatic-amino-acid-604759. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2016, April 9). Aliphatic Amino Acid Definition. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-aliphatic-amino-acid-604759 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Aliphatic Amino Acid Definition." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-aliphatic-amino-acid-604759 (accessed January 19, 2018).