The general structure of an α-amino acid. The α-carbon is displayed in orange, and the side chain is denoted by R. This style of diagram does not indicate whether the amino acid is an L or a D enantiomer.
The stereochemistry of an L-amino acid. All amino acids in nature are L-amino acids, except for bacterial cell walls and the odd w:en:cone snail or two.
A skeletal formula of a general α-amino acid. The α-carbon is displayed as an orange circle
The skeletal formula of a general L-α-amino acid, the enantiomeric form found in nature.
The skeletal formula of a general D-α-amino acid, the enantiomeric form not found in nature. D-amino acids can be synthesised artificially in a laboratory.
Amino acids can undergo condensation reactions, forming polypeptides.