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Amino acid loses a hydrogen

  1. Nov 29, 2011 #1

    I'm having a brain fart. Consider the amino acid glutamate (glutamic acid):




    When it forms an ionic bond with Na+ to make MSG, the glutamic acid loses it's hydrogen on the right side. Is it that it was "oxidized"? Or what do we call the process where it loses the hydrogen and is then able to form an ionic bond? And what is the driving force for this reaction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2011 #2


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    Gold Member

    Are you familiar with acid - base reactions that produce salts ?

    Na OH + H Cl ---> Na+ Cl- + H2O

    This is an exothermic reaction as for the driving force.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011
  4. Nov 30, 2011 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Another keyword: dissociation.
  5. Nov 30, 2011 #4
    Thank you. I'm many years out of college now and just barely remember how this works. :)
  6. Dec 1, 2011 #5
    No losing a hydrogen cation is always a reduction because the hydrogen leaves but doesn't take any electrons with it, which means more electrons for the molecule.
  7. Dec 1, 2011 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Absurd. Especially in the case of strong acids electron is already strongly bound to the conjugate base, so there is no charge transfer and dissociation has nothing to do with reduction nor oxidation.

    Using the same way of thinking NaCl dissociation is also a redox reaction.
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