Y is for Tyrosine, aka 4-hydroxyphenylalanine, a non-essential amino acid with a polar functional group. Tyrosine was first discovered in the cheese protein casein and was named after the Greek word for cheese, tyrós.
Tyrosine is encoded by the two codons UAC and UAU. Tyrosine is often substituted with the similar but essential amino acid Phenylalanine, encoded by the nearby codons UUC and UUU. Humans can synthesize Tyrosine from Phenylalanine.
Tyrosine is a precursor to neurotransmitters Dopamine, neurotransmitter and hormone Noradrenaline, hormone Adrenaline and the pigment Melanin.
Tyrosine is decarboxylated to tyramine in the gut and also during fermentation. Tyramine can cause blood vessels to constrict, increase blood pressure, and also cause heart palpitations. Foods high in tyramine include fermented vegetables, wine and beer, aged cheese, cured meats, chocolate, coffee, soy sauce, and salt-dried fish (ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK563197/).
In proteins, the Tyrosine residues may by phosphorylated by tyrosine kinase enzymes. This phosphorylation can change the function or location of the protein. Tyrosine kinases are important for maintaining normal cell growth and differentiation. Tyrosine kinase disfunction can lead to carcinogenesis. For this reason, targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors are used in treating cancer. Resistance to these inhibitors is being studied (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41392-022-01168-8).
Regarding the exit of the wormhole that I felt 20 days ago, I can report feelings of humbleness and WTF. I’m still processing what happened around midnight on the 21st of Dec. There was definitely an extreme shift and completely unexpected experience. I wonder how much of it was brought on by my anticipation of a wormhole exit. I did share with AZ that I was expecting a shift and so perhaps her behavior was impacted. Most of the differences I feel are internal versus external. However, these internal changes seem to be impacting my external reality.
W is for Tryptophan, an essential amino acid encoded by only a single codon, UGG. Tryptophan is essential for the synthesis of serotonin, a molecule that plays a key role in many bodily functions, such as sexual desire, mood, focus, learning, cognition, sleep, body temperature, wound healing, bone health, nausea, digestion, and vasoconstriction, and blood clotting. An adult body requires about 250mg/day per 100 lbs of body weight (about 5 mg/kg of body weight). A normal adult diet supplies about 20 mg/kg of body weight. For example, 150 mg of Tryptophan can be found in the following servings:
Cup of milk
Cup of oatmeal
Canned sardines (3 oz)
Edamame (3 oz)
Hamburger patty (5 oz)
Tofu (2 oz)
Roasted turkey breast (2 oz)
Tuna or Salmon fillet (1.5 oz)
Steak, chicken, or lamb (1.5 oz)
Seeds, for example pumpkin seeds (1 oz) and chia seeds (0.7 oz)
Wheat germ (1 oz)
Spirulina (0.5 oz)
An interesting study found that a high tryptophan diet had a positive impact on mood in healthy college students:
The results of this double-blinded, within-subjects study indicate that participants consuming higher levels of tryptophan (>10 mg/kg body weight/d) had significantly less depression and irritability and decreased anxiety than when they consumed lower levels of tryptophan (<5 mg/kg body weight/d).
V is for Valine, a strongly hydrophobic essential amino acid. It is encoded by all 4 codons starting with GU. Like other branch chain amino acids, it is synthesized by plants but not by animals. Valine is normally substituted for other BCAAs Leucine and Isoleucine.
Valine rarely is substituted for Glutamate, even though Glutamate is encoded by nearby codons GAA and GAG. The disease Sickle cell anemia results when this substitution happens in hemoglobin (https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922806297751).
Today I am spending time getting myself ready for whatever happens in a few days as I exit the wormhole.
T is for Threonine, which is most often substituted with Serine and Alanine, both of which are encoded by nearby codons to the 4 codons used to encode Threonine (ACx). Threonine is an essential amino acid aids in maintaining intestinal health as it is an important component of gastrointestinal mucin and is also aids in maintaining intestinal immune function via signaling pathways.
R is for Arginine, named from the Greek árgyros word meaning silver by German chemist Ernst Schulze, who first isolated it in 1886 as arginine nitrate crystals with a silver-white appearance. Arginine can be synthesized in the human body from Glutamine. Arginine is important in the regulation of blood pressure due to it being involved in the synthesis of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that regulates vasodilation. Arginine is also important for T-cell function, and therefore the immune system.
Arginine is encoded by 6 codons: AGA, AGG, and the 4 codons starting with CG. Note that Glutamine, from which Arginine can be synthesized, is encoded by the nearby codons CAA and CAG. Arginine is often substituted by Lysine, which encoded by nearby codons AAA and AAG. Arginine is also often substituted by Histidine, encoded by nearby codons CAC and CAU.
Most people take in 4-6 grams of Arginine per day through their diet. Blood pressure studies used doses of 6-30 grams of Arginine per day. Erectile dysfunction research showed positive results with 1.5-5 grams of Arginine per day.
Q is for Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in the body. In addition to protein synthesis, it is also used as an energy source for the immune system and is used as a substrate for synthesis of nucleotides. Normally, the human body can synthesize the necessary amount of Glutamine. However, under stress conditions, Glutamine must be supplied through food sources.
Glutamine is encoded by the codons CAA and CAG. Glutamine is often replaced by Histidine, which is encoded by nearby codons CAC and CAU. It is also often replaced by Glutamate, which is encoded by nearby codons GAA and GAG.
Notice how multiple universes are linked together. Mutations can occur at the nucleotide level and “nearby universes” will have single nucleotide mutations. These often result in the protein function also being similar, so that the actual real world impact of the molecular mutations is often very small in these “nearby universes”. The genetic code itself has evolved in the multiverse to be robust against mutation so that evolution through mutation and selection can occur. This robustness is likely present in all universes in which there is life on earth, as we know it.
Last night I enjoyed Grayson Kohl performing at OPA’s coffee and wine bar. I had dinner plans with Z that seemed to be on then off then on then off. The last seven days exiting this wormhole seem to be affecting me. I woke up sick this morning with a cold. I’m also noticing that I’m feeling edgy, easily triggered, and depressed.
P is for Proline. It is encoded by all codons starting with CC. It is uniquely shaped being the only proteinogenic amino acids with a secondary amine. The ring caused by this secondary amine is important in structural proteins.