Definition of asparagine in US English:



  • A hydrophilic amino acid which is a constituent of most proteins.

    An amide of aspartic acid; chemical formula: CONH₂CH₂CH(NH₂)COOH

    • ‘In 1806, French chemist, Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin, isolated a compound in asparagus that proved to be the amino acid, asparagine.’
    • ‘The concentration of both glutamine and asparagine, the most abundant of the specific amino acids, declined rapidly during phase 1 after defoliation.’
    • ‘Glutamine and asparagine accounted for most of the nitrogen released by protein breakdown.’
    • ‘Instead these domains tend to be enriched with polar amino acids, such as glutamine and asparagine.’
    • ‘Indicators of carbon stress, such as accumulation of the amino acid asparagine, were examined.’


Early 19th century: from asparagus (which contains it) + -ine.