Tyrosine is an amino acid and belongs to the class which has acid or base R-groups. While tyrosine is generally classified as a hydrophobic amino acid, it is more hydrophilic than phenylalanine. The word "tyrosine" is from the Greek tyros, meaning cheese, as it was first discovered in 1846 by German chemist Justus von Liebig in the protein casein from cheese.

"Aside from being a proteinogenic amino acid, tyrosine has a special role by virtue of the phenol functionality. It occurs in proteins that are part of signal transduction processes and functions as a receiver of phosphate groups that are transferred by way of protein kinases. Phosphorylation of the hydroxyl group can change the activity of the target protein, or may form part of a signaling cascade via SH2 domain binding."

"A tyrosine residue also plays an important role in photosynthesis. In chloroplasts (photosystem II), it acts as an electron donor in the reduction of oxidized chlorophyll. In this process, it loses the hydrogen atom of its phenolic OH-group. This radical is subsequently reduced in the photosystem II by the four core manganese clusters."

"Tyrosine, which can also be synthesized in the body from phenylalanine, is found in many high-protein food products such as chicken, turkey, fish, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy products and lima beans, but also in avocados and bananas. For example, the white of an egg has about 250 mg per egg, while lean beef/lamb/pork/salmon/chicken/turkey contains about 1 g per 3 ounces (85 g) portion."

"In dopaminergic cells in the brain, tyrosine is converted to L-DOPA by the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). TH is the rate-limiting enzyme involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine can then be converted into other catecholamines, such as norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline). The thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in the colloid of the thyroid are also derived from tyrosine."

"The latex of Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy, has been shown to convert tyrosine into the alkaloid morphine and the bio-synthetic pathway has been established from tyrosine to morphine by using Carbon-14 radio-labelled tyrosine to trace the in-vivo synthetic route. Tyrosine is also the precursor to the pigment melanin. Tyrosine (or its precursor phenylalanine) is needed to synthesize the benzoquinone structure which forms part of coenzyme Q10.

"Tyrosine is a precursor to neurotransmitters and increases plasma neurotransmitter levels (particularly dopamine and norepinephrine), but has little if any effect on mood in normal subjects. However, a number of studies have found tyrosine to be useful during conditions of stress, cold, fatigue (in mice), prolonged work and sleep deprivation, with reductions in stress hormone levels, reductions in stress-induced weight loss seen in animal trials, and improvements in cognitive and physical performance seen in human trials. Tyrosine does not seem to have any significant effect on cognitive or physical performance in normal circumstances, but does help sustain working memory better during multitasking." (Wiki)

Tyrosine wiki

Biochemical concepts

Chemistry concepts

Tillery, Enger and Ross
Ch 14

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