Synonyms: 2-Amino-3-(1H-indol-3-yl)propanoic acid
CAS No.: 73-22-3
Molecular Formula: C11H12N2O2
Molecular Weight: 204.23
Tryptophan (abbreviated as Trp or W; encoded by the codon UGG) is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains an α-amino group (which is in the protonated –NH3+ form under biological conditions), an α-carboxylic acid group (which is in the deprotonated –COO− form under biological conditions), and a side chain indole, classifying it as a non-polar, aromatic amino acid. It is essential in humans, meaning the body cannot synthesize it and thus it must be obtained from the diet.
Tryptophan is also a precursor to neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin.