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Ionizable Amino Acids
Seven out of the twenty amino acids contain readily ionizable side chain groups. That means that at specific pH values, each side chain can participate in an acid-base reaction in which it can exchange a hydrogen atom with some other biomolecule. Since these side chains can form ions, that implies that they can also participate in forming ionic bonds. On top of these seven amino acids with ionizable side chains, all of the amino acids contain an ionizable alpha amino group and an alpha carboxyl group. The pKa value of each side chain group determines the pH value at which there will be equal concentrations of the acid and its conjugate base. The pKa value of the alpha amino group is 3.1 while the pKa value of the alpha amino group is 8.0. The pkA values of glutamic acid and aspartic acid are 4.1, the pKa of cysteine is 6.0, the pKa value of lysine is 8.3, the pKa value of lysine is 10.8, the pKa value of tyrosine is 10.9 and the pKa value of arginine is 12.5.
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