Uncommon Amino Acids
Many other amino acids, in addition to the ones listed here, are known to exist. They occur in some, but by no means all, proteins. Figure 3.4 shows some examples of the many possibilities. They are derived from the common amino acids and are produced by modification of the parent amino acid after the protein is synthesized by the organism in a process called posttranslational modification. Hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine differ from the parent amino acids in that they have hydroxyl groups on their side chains; they are found only in a few connective-tissue proteins, such as collagen.
Thyroxine differs from tyrosine in that it has an extra iodine-containing aromatic group on the side chain; it is produced only in the thyroid gland, formed by posttranslational modification of tyrosine residues in the protein thyroglobulin. Thyroxine is then released as a hormone by proteolysis of thyroglobulin.