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MCAT Question A Day - 3/30/13 - Answer!

Naturally occurring amino acids:

A.  have mostly the S configuration.
B.  react with each other to form peptide linkages.
C.  are soluble in water.
D.  All of the above.

The correct answer is (D). Except for glycine, naturally occurring amino acids are optically
active. Stereochemical studies show that all have the S configuration about the carbon atom
bonded to the alpha amino group. Amides are formed by the reaction between amino groups
and carboxyl groups to form peptides. In fact, the —NHCO— group is called a peptide linkage.
Amino acids are nonvolatile crystalline solids with high melting points and are water soluble.
These properties are explained by a dipolar structure, 1H3N—CHR—COO2.

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