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What follows is a discussion of amino acids, their biosynthesis, and the The way amino acids are synthesized has changed during the history of Earth.
Interestingly, glutamine is the universal donor of amine groups for the formation of many other amino acids as well as many biosynthetic products.
Glutamine is also a key metabolite for ammonia storage.
This hypothesis is further extended to the claim that, within this soup, single-celled organisms evolved, and as the number of organisms increased, the organic compounds were depleted.
Necessarily, in this competitive environment, those organisms that were able to biosynthesize their own nutrients from elements had a great advantage over those that could not.
For example, amino acids can be synthesized from precursor molecules by simple steps.
Alanine, aspartate, and glutamate are synthesized from keto acids called pyruvate, oxaloacetate, and alpha-ketoglutarate, respectively, after a transamination reaction step. To date, scientists have discovered more than five hundred amino acids in nature, but only twenty-two participate in translation.In 1943, Gordon, Martin, and Synge used partition chromatography to separate and study constituents of proteins (Gordon, Martin, & Synge 1943), a major breakthrough that contributed to the rapid identification of the twenty amino acids used in proteins by all living organisms.All organisms contain the enzymes glutamate dehydrogenase and glutamine synthetase, which convert ammonia to glutamate and glutamine, respectively.Amino and amide groups from these two compounds can then be transferred to other carbon backbones by transamination and transamidation reactions to make amino acids.This bond is extremely difficult to break because the three chemical bonds need to be separated and bonded to different compounds.Nitrogenase is the only family of enzymes capable of breaking this bond (i.e., it carries out nitrogen fixation).They found that new molecules were formed, and they identified these molecules as eleven standard amino acids.From this observation, they posited that the first organisms likely arose in an similar to the one they constructed in their flask, one rich in organic compounds, now widely described as the primordial soup.After this initial burst of discovery, two additional amino acids, which are not used by all organisms, were added to the list: selenocysteine (Bock 2000) and pyrrolysine (Srinivasan et al. Aside from their role in composing proteins, amino acids have many biologically important functions.They are also energy metabolites, and many of them are essential nutrients.