Cysteine (abbreviated as Cys or C) is an α-amino acid with the chemical
formula HO2CCH(NH2)CH2SH.Cysteine (abbreviated as Cys or C) is an α-amino acid
with the chemical formula HO2CCH(NH2)CH2SH.
Cysteine (abbreviated as Cys or C)
is an α-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCH(NH2)CH2SH. It is a
non-essential amino acid, which means that it is biosynthesized in humans. Its
codons are UGU and UGC. The side chain on cysteine is thiol, which is nonpolar
and thus cysteine is usually classified as a hydrophobic amino acid. The thiol
side chain often participates in enzymatic reactions, serving as a nucleophile.
The thiol is susceptible to oxidization to give the disulfide derivative cystine,
which serves an important structural role in many proteins. Cysteine is named
Cysteine, mainly the L-enantiomer,
is a precursor in the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries. One of
the largest applications is the production of flavors. For example, the reaction
of cysteine with sugars in a Maillard reaction yields meat flavors. L-cysteine
is also used as a processing aid for baking.
In the field of personal care, cysteine is used for permanent wave applications
predominantly in Asia. Again the cysteine is used for breaking up the disulfide
bonds in the hair's keratin.
Cysteine is a very popular target for site-directed labeling experiments to
investigate biomolecular structure and dynamics. Maleimides will selectively
attach to cysteine using a covalent Michael addition. Site-directed spin
labeling for EPR or paramagnetic relaxation enhanced NMR also uses cysteine
In a 1994 report released by five top cigarette companies, cysteine is one of
the 599 additives to cigarettes. Like most cigarette additives, however, its use
or purpose is unknown. Its inclusion in cigarettes could offer two benefits:
Acting as an expectorant, since smoking increases mucus production in the lungs;
and increasing the beneficial antioxidant glutathione (which is diminished in
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