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Phenylalanine

Synonym(s)

  • L-phenylalanine
  • Phe
  • phenylalanine, L-isomer

Definition(s)

An essential aromatic amino acid that is a precursor of melanin, dopamine, noradrenalin (norepinephrine), and thyroxine.

Definition from: MeSH via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

An essential aromatic amino acid in humans (provided by food), phenylalanine plays a key role in the biosynthesis of other amino acids and is important in the structure and function of many proteins and enzymes. Phenylalanine is converted to tyrosine, used in the biosynthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. The L-form of phenylalanine is incorporated into proteins, while the D-form acts as a painkiller. Absorption of ultraviolet radiation by phenylalanine is used to quantify protein amounts.

Definition from: NCI Thesaurus via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

Related discussion in the Handbook

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: April 21, 2014