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An essential Amino acid that was first discovered in 1819. Leucine is a water-soluble amino acid that can be purified from Zein, hemoglobin, and Edestin to produce a white crystalline powder. Leucine is necessary for growth and maintaining the nitrogen balance.

Chemical structure


Synonyms and Related Terms

LEU: alpha-amino-gamma-methylvaleric acid; alpha-aminoisocaproic acid


  • Sensitive to light and moisture.
  • Potential teratogen.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water. Slightly soluble in ethanol. Insoluble in ether.

Composition C4H9CH(NH2)COOH
CAS (l) 61-90-5; (d) 328-38-1
Density 1.293 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 131.17

Resources and Citations

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 5475
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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