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Glycine (aminoacetic acid) (C₂H₅NO₂)

Glycine (aminoacetic acid) (C₂H₅NO₂)

The simplest amino acid.



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Glycine (aminoacetic acid) C₂H₅NO₂


Molar mass: 75.7 g/mol

Melting point: 233 °C

Density: 1.1607 g/cm³

Heat of combustion: -973.1 kJ/mol


Glycine is the simplest proteinogenic amino acid. In proteinogenic amino acids the central carbon atom is attached to a hydrogen atom, an amino group, a carboxyl group and part of an organic molecule. In glycine this last part is formed of the simplest possible atom: a hydrogen atom.

Glycine is a colourless solid substance with a sweet taste. It dissolves well in water, but does not dissolve in alcohol or ether at all. In its aqueous solution a substantial proportion of the molecules have a zwitterionic structure: the carboxyl group releases a proton while the amino group binds a proton.

Glycine is an amphoteric compound: it is capable of both donating and accepting a proton. Its conjugation with cholic acid (a bile acid) results in glycocholic acid.

Occurrence and production

Of all the amino acids in our bodies, glycine is the most abundant.


Glycine is used in the textile industry and in galvanisation technology. In the food industry it is used as a flavour enhancer.



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Amino acids

Amino acids are the monomers of proteins.

Glycylglycine (C₄H₈N₂O₃)

The simplest peptide, formed from two glycine molecules by a peptide bond.

Peptide bond

Amino acids that make up proteins are bound by peptide bonds.

Spider silk, spider web

While the density of spider silk is less than that of nylon filaments, its tensile strength is greater than that of steel.

Trimethylamine N(CH₃)₃

A tertiary amine with a characteristic unpleasant odour, occurring in spoiled food.

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