Arginine

Arginine Molecule

Arginine: A Potent Vasodilator

Have you ever experienced getting leg cramps after a heavy exercise? Leg cramps occur when your muscles do not receive enough oxygen due to inadequate blood flow to muscle tissues. Good news is that during these painful circumstances, Arginine comes to the rescue!Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid which promotes dilation of blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow to exercising muscles. By increasing blood flow, enough oxygen is being supplied to working muscles which enables it to contract properly. This process enhances metabolic response to heavy exercise.

Apart from its role in enhancing muscle contraction, its vasodilating effect also finds its importance in preventing problems associated to coronary diseases such as angina (or chest pain) and heart failure.

How does Arginine look like in Chemistry?

Arginine Molecule

Let’s Get Building!

Using your Student Molecular Set from Duluth Labs let’s create the Arginine Molecule! You’ll need:

  • 6 Carbon atoms
  • 2 Oxygen atoms
  • 14 Hydrogen atoms
  • 4 Nitrogen atoms
  • 14 Small connectors (compact small bonds for hydrogen)
  • 9 Medium Connectors
  • 4 Long connectors
  • Molecular Tool (for Disassembly) 

Put aside all the atoms and connectors needed.

Let’s Start Building With Our Amino Acid Skeleton portion

Arginine Molecule

Note: We will build the skeleton portion of our amino acid starting with our chiral carbon(α Carbon).

Steps:

  • 1
    Arginine Molecule

    1. Get one carbon atom (α Carbon)then, place one hydrogen atom at the back side using one small connector.

  • 2
    Arginine Molecule

    2. Then, get another carbon atom (β Carbon)then place this in front of α Carbon using 1medium connector. Add 2 hydrogen atoms onβ Carbon using 2 small connectors.

  • 3
    Arginine Molecule

    3. Attach another carbon (Carbonyl Carbon)on α Carbon using 1 medium connector.

  • 4
    Arginine Molecule

    4. Get an Oxygen atom and attach this to the Carbonyl Carbon using 2long connectors.

  • 5
    Arginine Molecule

    5. Get another Oxygen atom then attach this to the Carbonyl Carbon using a medium connector. Place a hydrogen atom on this oxygen using one small connector.

  • 6
    Arginine Molecule

    6. Then, get your Nitrogen atom and attach this to the α Carbon using one medium connector. Place 2 hydrogen atoms on this Nitrogen using 2 small connectors.

  • Arginine Molecule

    Yay! We've just built our amino acid skeleton!

Note: Let’s now attach the ethylguanidino portion at thebeta (β) carbon – starting off with the Gamma (γ) Carbon.

Arginine Molecule

Steps:

  • 1
    Arginine Molecule

    1. Get one Carbon atom(Gamma or γ Carbon)then attach this to the beta (β) carbon using 1 medium connector. Add 2 hydrogen atoms to the gamma carbon using 2 small connectors.

  • 2
    Arginine Molecule

    2. Attach another carbon atom(Delta or δ Carbon)to the Gamma (γ) carbonusing a medium connector. Likewise, add 2 hydrogen atoms on delta (δ) carbon using 2 small connectors.

  • 3
    Arginine Molecule

    3. Get a nitrogen atom (Epsilon or ε Nitrogen)then attach this to Delta (δ) Carbon using a medium connector. Add 1 hydrogen atomto this nitrogen using 1 small connector.

  • 4
    Arginine Molecule

    4. Attach a Carbon atom(Guanidine Carbon)to the Epsilon (ε) Nitrogen using 1 medium connector.

  • 5
    Arginine Molecule

    5. Get another Nitrogen atom then attach this to the GuanidineCarbonusing 2 long connectors. Add 1 hydrogen atom to this Nitrogen using 1 small connector.

  • 6

    6. Finally, get one Nitrogen atomthen attach this to theGuanidine Carbon. Add 2 hydrogen atoms to this nitrogen using 2 small connectors.

  • Hooray! We now have our L-Arginine molecule!

Now, try this! Let’s build another Arginine molecule by following the steps outlined above. Then let’s try to interchange the Hydrogen attached to the alpha (α) carbon and the beta (β) Carbon containing the guanidine functional group.

Arginine Molecule

Steps:

  • 1

    1. Build another Arginine molecule following the steps outlined above.

  • 2
    Arginine Molecule

    2. Detach the hydrogen atom and the beta (β) carbon containing the phenol side chain.

  • 3
    Arginine Molecule

    3. Place the hydrogen atom in front of the alpha (α) carbon.

  • 4

    4. Then, attach the beta (β) carbon with the phenol functional group at the back side of alpha (α) carbon.

There we go! We now have 2 molecules of Arginine! See how these molecules seem to mirror each other!

L - Arginine

D - Arginine

Great work! Now we have our newly-built Arginine molecule.

Feel free to show us how your Arginine turned out!


Comment and share pictures below!

Tune in next week for another Molecule of the week!

See you then xoxo :)

Duluth Labs

Afton Direct LLC


Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment