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tryptophan definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: an amino acid that occurs in proteins; is essential for growth and normal metabolism; a precursor of niacin [syn: tryptophan, tryptophane]

Merriam Webster's

also tryptophane noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary tryptic + -o- + -phane Date: 1890 a crystalline essential amino acid C11H12N2O2 that is widely distributed in proteins

Britannica Concise

One of the essential amino acids. It is a heterocyclic compound that is found in small amounts in most proteins. It plays an important role in the growth and development of infants and in the biosynthesis of serotonin and niacin (thus, deficiency of both niacin and tryptophan causes pellagra). Its occurrence in milk is the reason milk helps people sleep. It is used in medicine and nutrition research, in enriched foods, and as a dietary supplement.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

n. Biochem. an amino acid essential in the diet of vertebrates. Etymology: as TRYPSIN + -phan f. Gk phaino appear



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