Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Aminobutyric Acid

  • Mark Dörr
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_64-3



Aminobutyric acid is the term for a variety of structural isomers of amino acids derived from n- or isobutyric acid with the chemical formula C4H9NO2. They belong to the substance class of amino acids, since they contain an amino functional group and a carboxylic acid functional group. In nature, several different isomers of aminobutyric acid are found: (1) α-Aminobutyric acid (αABA), a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of ophthalmic acid, (2) β-aminobutyric acid (βABA), (3) γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) modulates the excitability of neurons of vertebrates and the muscle tone, and (4) α-Aminoisobutyric acid (αAIB), which is found in some fungal membrane peptides. Aminobutyric acid has been found in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites.

α, β, and γ denote the position of the amino group relative to the carboxyl group in the amino acid molecule: α refers to the first, β the second, and γ the third position.


Carboxylic Acid Structural Isomer Aminobutyric Acid Carbonaceous Chondrite Acid Functional Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark