|Molecular weight||131.175 g/mol|
|Names and Identifiers|
|CAS Registry Number||73-32-5|
Isoleucine is an α-amino acid that is used in the biosynthesis of proteins. It contains an α-amino group (which is in the protonated −NH+ 3 form under biological conditions), an α-carboxylic acid group (which is in the deprotonated −COO− form under biological conditions), and a hydrocarbon side chain, classifying it as a non-polar, uncharged (at physiological pH), aliphatic amino acid. It is essential in humans, meaning the body cannot synthesize it, and must be ingested in our diet. Isoleucine is synthesized from pyruvate employing leucine biosynthesis enzymes in other organisms such as bacteria. It is encoded by the codons ATT, ATC, ATA.
Inability to break down isoleucine, along with other amino acids, is associated with the disease called Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which results in discoloration and a sweet smell in the patient’s urine, which is where the name comes from. However, in severe cases, MSUD can lead to damage to the brain cells and ultimately death.